Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America

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Seal Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 307 pages
119 Reviews
While growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Linda Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, Furiya's life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare it.
As immigrants, her parents approached the challenges of living in America, and maintaining their Japanese diets, with optimism and gusto. Furiva, meanwhile, was acutely aware of how food set her apart from her peers: She spent her first day of school hiding in the girls' restroom, examining her rice balls and chopsticks, and longing for a Peanut Bullter and Jelly sandwich.
Bento Box in the Heartland is an insightful and reflective coming-of-age tale. Beautifully written, each chapter is accompanied by a family recipe of mouth-watering Japanese comfort food.

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Liked the book...loved the recipes. - Goodreads
The writing was a bit clumsy, as well. - Goodreads
Wonderful story and meals related to Japanese culture. - Goodreads
great recipes of traditional Japanese food! - Goodreads
The recipes are very good. - Goodreads
The bonus is that there are great recipes inside! - Goodreads

Review: Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America

User Review  - Amanda - Goodreads

I love food memoirs, and I particularly enjoyed this one. It's a classic coming of age story: the author is a Japanese-American girl living in Indiana and dealing with the cultural identity questions ... Read full review

Review: Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America

User Review  - Ron Davidson - Goodreads

A Japanese-American woman's story of growing up in rural America as an "other" - a nonwhite child of immigrants - and the difficulties, alienation, and joy that comes with it. But most importantly ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

Linda Furiya hails from Versailles, Indiana and graduated from Purdue University. She soon moved to San Francisco where she discovered her love of writing and felt emboldened by the Asian American community. She began writing about ethnicity and food in 1992 when she wrote a syndicated monthly column titles, "From Where I Stand," for San Francisco's Nichibei Times, Los Angeles' Rafu Shimpo, Sacramento's Nikkei West, Seattle's Northewest Nikkei and Montreal Canada's Montreal Bulletin.

Linda's freelance writing experience spans fourteen years and includes food and travel articles published in various newspapers and other periodical such as Asainweek, South China Morning Post, Kikkoman's Chef Forum and Silkroad, a publication on Dragon Airlines. Since 2000, Linda has been writing a monthly column in the food section of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The author has completed culinary training at Meilong Zheng cooking school, a local program focusing on Shanghainese cuisine and currently lives in Shelburne, Vermont with her son and wire hair dachshund, Oscar where teaches Japanese and Chinese cooking.

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