Eddie Huang was finally happy. Sort of. He d written a bestselling book and was the star of a TV show that took him to far-flung places around the globe. Read more...
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Eddie Huang was finally happy. Sort of. He d written a bestselling book and was the star of a TV show that took him to far-flung places around the globe. His New York City restaurant was humming, his OKCupid hand was strong, and he d even hung fresh Ralph Lauren curtains to create the illusion of a bedroom in the tiny apartment he shared with his younger brother Evan, who ran their restaurant business.
Then he fell in love and everything fell apart.
The business was creating tension within the family; his life as a media star took him away from his first passion food; and the woman he loved an All-American white girl made him wonder: "How Chinese am I? "The only way to find out, he decided, was to reverse his parents migration and head back to the motherland. On a quest to heal his family, reconnect with his culture, and figure out whether he should marry his American girl, Eddie flew to China with his two brothers and a mission: to set up shop to see if his food stood up to Chinese palates and to immerse himself in the culture to see if his life made sense in China. Naturally, nothing went according to plan.
"Double Cup Love "takes readers from Williamsburg dive bars to the skies over Mongolia, from Michelin-starred restaurants in Shanghai to street-side soup peddlers in Chengdu. The book rockets off as a sharply observed, globe-trotting comic adventure that turns into an existential suspense story with high stakes. Eddie takes readers to the crossroads where he has to choose between his past and his future, between who he once was and who he might become. "Double Cup Love "is about how we search for love and meaning in family and culture, in romance and marriage but also how that search, with all its aching and overpowering complexity, can deliver us to our truest selves.
Praise for Eddie Huang s "Double Cup Love"
"Double Cup Love" invites the readers to journey through Eddie Huang s] love story, new friendships, brotherhood, a whole lot of eating and more. Huang s honest recounting shouts and whispers on every page in all-caps dialogues and hilarious side-commentary. Huang pulls simple truths and humor out of his complex adventure to China. His forthright sharing of anecdotes is sincere and generates uncontrollable laughter. . . . His latest memoir affirms not only that the self-described human panda is an engaging storyteller but a great listener, especially in the language of food. "Chicago Tribune
An elaborate story of love and self-discovery . . . Huang s writing is wry and zippy; he regards the world with an understanding of its absurdities and injustices and with a willingness to be surprised. Jon Caramanica, "The New York Times"
Huang is determined to tease out the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which Asian-Americans give up parts of themselves in order to move forward. . . . Fortunately for us, he s not afraid to speak up about it. "The New Yorker"
Huang connects in Chengdu the same way he assimilated in America through food, hip-hop and a never-ending authenticity, which readers experience through his hilarious writing voice and style. New York "Daily News""
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Huang gives readers another punch of passion in his second memoir (after 2013’s massively successful Fresh Off the Boat). With his gift for conversation, edgy humor, and deeply knowledgeable palate, readers get a sense of a young chef on a serious quest. As Huang finds love, he continues to wrestle with his family and the business, discovering a nagging ache that calls him back to the motherland. Yearning to discover whether his cooking will satisfy foodies in China—not just the flock of fans at his ever-popular N.Y.C. restaurant, Baohaus—he tests the waters in Chengdu and cooks his heart out. “Something about it was the same, but different, as if the spirits circling me had been present all along but were suddenly visible.” Through an endless stream of hilarious basketball metaphors, pop culture one-liners, and what Huang affectionately calls “Chinglish,” his passion for food and determination to get things right—in the U.S., in China, and in his heart of hearts—mark every page. Agent: Marc Gerald, Agency Group Talent. (May)
A hip and culinary trip to China
It’s fitting that Eddie Huang’s follow-up to the bestselling Fresh Off the Boat—adapted into a TV series—opens as he phonetically transcribes a Charlie Parker sax riff. Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China is a foodie travelogue and comic tour de force, but it’s also something of a word-jazz concerto.
The setup is simple: Feeling pressured by his success, Huang ventures to Chengdu to cook with street vendors and dig further into the roots of the food he’s known for. He also plans to fly his girlfriend out and propose.
Huang’s hip-hop patois infuses his writing, whether he’s describing a bout of chili-induced diarrhea (and there are several) or exploring the difficult family dynamics that shaped him as a young man. He captures the pressures of the kitchen, which are even greater while he’s in China, since as often as not he’s cooking in a converted closet, battling chili fumes along with carbon monoxide.
Huang’s romance takes some unexpected twists (on his way to propose he is almost left behind at a rest stop where he’s once again paying for his gastronomic bravery), but Double Cup Love has more to offer than that. The rooftop parties and underground clubs, chewy intestines and all that swagger reveal a family story that’s tender at the core.