Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'China'

The Art of Cutting – “Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China”, Fuchsia Dunlop

March 7th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Food

The art of cutting is fundamental to Chinese cooking. We had to learn all the different knife techniques, and the myriad of different shapes into which food can be cut. There were ‘horse-ear’ slices of pickled chilli; slivers, cubes and chunks of meat and poultry, ‘fish-eye’ slices of spring onion, wafer-thin ‘ox-tongue’ slices of radish […]

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Cleavers – “Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China”, Fuchsia Dunlop

March 7th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Food

Every student would be casually carrying around a lethally-sharp cleaver, which took some getting used to. To begin with I retained my European view of the cleaver as a bloody, murderous knife – it was only later that I began to appreciate it as the subtle, versatile instrument that it really is. (The cleaver is […]

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Conquering Juliet – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 27th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Music, Parenting

As promised, here’s the ending of Sophia’s essay on “Conquering Juliet”: I didn’t quite understand what was happening until I found myself backstage, petrified, quaking. My hands were cold. I couldn’t remember how my piece started. An old mirror betrayed the contrast between my chalk-white face and my dark gown, and I wondered how many […]

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Revising Dreams for Coco – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 27th, 2012 · No Comments · China

It didn’t upset me that I had revised my dreams for Coco—I just wanted her to be happy. I had finally come to see that Coco was an animal, with intrinsically far less potential than Sophia and Lulu. Although it is true that some dogs are on bomb squads or drug-sniffing teams, it is perfectly […]

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I Reject This Birthday Card – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 27th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Parenting

I grabbed the (home made birthday) card again and flipped it over. I pulled out a pen from my purse and scrawled “Happy Birthday Lulu Whoopee!” I added a big sour face. “What if I gave you this for your birthday, Lulu—would you like that? But I would never do that, Lulu. No—I get you […]

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He Went Back to Korea – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 26th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Parenting

Once, Sophia came in second on a multiplication speed test, which her fifth-grade teacher administered every Friday. She lost to a Korean boy named Yoon-seok. Over the next week, I made Sophia do twenty practice tests (of 100 problems each) every night, with me clocking her with a stopwatch. After that, she came in first […]

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Lazy, Cowardly, Self-indulgent, and Pathetic – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 26th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Parenting

Finally, the day before her lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was giving up and stomped off. “Get back to the piano now,” I ordered. “You can’t make me.” “Oh yes, I can.” Back at the piano, Lulu made me pay. She punched, thrashed, and kicked. She grabbed the music score and tore it […]

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Hey Fatty—Lose Some Weight – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 25th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Parenting

The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, “Hey fatty—lose some weight.” By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of “health” and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in […]

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Oppressed Chinese Woman Lit – “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” – Amy Chua

February 25th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Writing

Like every Asian American woman in her late twenties, I had the idea of writing an epic novel about mother-daughter relationships spanning several generations, based loosely on my own family’s story. As my wife will tell you, I have something of a prejudice against ‘oppressed Chinese woman Lit’…

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Nothing is Fun Until You’re Good At It – Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – Amy Chua

February 24th, 2012 · No Comments · China, Parenting

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

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