Eating Chinese Food Naked: A Novel

Front Cover
Scribner, Jan 1, 1998 - Fiction - 252 pages
3 Reviews
Mei Ng invents a new genre of heroine in this stunning fiction debut. This simultaneously witty and poignant first novel explores the complex relationship between a mother and daughter, and the daughter's reluctant homecoming to a family she couldn't wait to leave.

For a twenty-two-year-old college graduate, Ruby Lee is surprisingly world weary. Restless and searching, no one is more surprised than Ruby when, after graduating from Columbia University), her first stop is back home to Queens. Even Ruby doesn't quite know what she hopes to find there, but the longer she stays the more she is forced to confront the family and emotions she tried to escape, especially her deep, protective love for her mother, Bell, a housewife bullied by Ruby's tyrannical, cigar-smoking father. The hundreds of laundry parcels stacked in the family living room, the detail and distraction of her mother's Chinese cooking, even the sexual fantasies that have long been a part of her waking and dreaming life begin to surround and smother her. At times these fantasies return her to the bed of her on-and-off boyfriend, and at other times they find her walking from bar to Manhattan bar, occasionally finding a new sexual partner to relieve her high anxiety.

This is a luminous and extraordinary debut, filled with angst, humor, and the kind of richly detailed, skilled writing that makes for literary stars.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jbarr5 - LibraryThing

Eating Chinese Food Naked Was hoping this audio book will include some Chinese recipes. Ruby is back from college, to her mothers house and is not ready to move into her boyfriends apartment. She gets ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This book provides an intimate look at a family, at how our childhood affects our ability to develop and sustain relationships as adults. Returning home after college, Ruby is troubled by her parents ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

21 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Asian American Literature
Bella Adams
No preview available - 2008
All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Ng earned her B.A. from Columbia University and her M.F.A. from the Brooklyn Writing Program.

Bibliographic information