Synopses & Reviews
When Jane Takagi-Little finally lands a job -- producing a Japanese television show sponsored by Beef-Ex, an organization promoting the export of U.S. meats -- she takes her crew on the road in search of all-American wives cooking all-American meat. Over the course of filming, though, Jane makes a few troubling discoveries about both. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, in Japan, Akiko Ueno watches My American Wife! and diligently prepares Coca-Cola Roast and Panfried Prairie Oysters for her husband, "John", (the ad-agency rep for the show's sponsor). As Akiko fills out his questionnaires, rating each show on Authenticity, Wholesomeness, and Deliciousness of Meat, certain ominous questions about her own life and the fact that after each meal she has to go to the bathroom and throw up -- begin to surface.
A tale of love, global media, and the extraordinary events in the lives of two ordinary women, counterpointed by Sei Shonagon's vibrant commentary, this first novel by filmmaker Ruth L. Ozeki -- as insightful and moving as the novels of Amy Tan, as original as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. or John Irving -- is a sparkling and original debut from a major new talent.