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Eat A Bowl Of Tea

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  8 reviews
A compelling story of life in the Chinese-American community of New York City. The pages of this novel come alive with the maneuvers of the Tong leaders, the colorful visitors to the Money Come mah-jongg clubhouse, and the complex gossip of closely knit Chinatown.

Only a Chinese American could have written a novel of such vigor and authenticity. In 1989 it was made into a f

Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Lyle Stuart (first published 1979)
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Taking place in New York's Chinatown in the late 1940s, Eat a Bowl of Tea is the story of the marriage of Ben Loy and Mei Oi, arranged by their respective fathers, Wah Gay and Lee Gong, who are two of the many "bachelor husbands" of Chinatown, married men whose wives were left behind in China when they came to America to work. Initially, Ben Loy is reluctant to travel to China to marry, as he has been enjoying a dissolute social life patronizing prostitutes. Yet after meeting Mei Oi, he quickly ...more
Kristin Lyon
The book kind of rattled on for me, a lot of unnecessary characters and drama, but maybe I missed the point. Anyway, I liked the end and I liked their journey.
Jan 26, 2008 Cheri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: avid readers, anyone interested in Chinese culture
Recommended to Cheri by: for school
This book is hilarious and very enjoyable - and not just because of old Chinese men telling each other your mom all the time. Exact words, though, are "wow your mother". Wacky!

It's a quick read - I read it in one night - and well worth it.

I never thought I'd be on the edge of my seat, turning page after page to find out if a character ever achieves an erection again. That's writing skill.

Note: It is out of print, but used copies can be found.
Nov 25, 2009 Nancy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
The story of a marriage (and impotence and infidelity) in Chinatown. Very interesting look at that segment of society. Not sure when it was set, but post-WWII.
I really enjoyed this book. I guess it's your basic, first generation vs. second generation, moving to America, cultural mix story, but I think this is one of the best.
Oliver Hazan
An excellent look into the lives of Chinese immigrants in the 1950s. Well written, diverting, and true-to-life.
An interesting book about Chinese-American men living in NYC. More on
Chinese-American....1940s NY Chinatown....newlyweds, adultery, Chinese mob.
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