Monday, March 28, 2011

Memoir Monday presents... My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe

My Korean Deli : Risking It All For A Convenience Store by Ben Ryder Howe... "It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe's wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents' self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along. Things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws' Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton's Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. My Korean Deli follows the store's tumultuous life span, and along the way paints the portrait of an extremely unlikely partnership between characters with shoots across society, from the Brooklyn streets to Seoul to Puritan New England. Owning the deli becomes a transformative experience for everyone involved as they struggle to salvage the original gift—and the family—while sorting out issues of values, work, and identity."

I read the review of this book in the New York Times Book Review last Sunday, I knew I had to blog about it for Memoir Monday. This sounds like a fantastic read! Not simply because of the unlikely ownership of the Deli by Ben Ryder Howe who is a senior editor for one of my favorite literary magazines, The Paris Review, but because of the flavorful characters that we are promised to meet along our reading journey. Corby Kummer, who reviewed My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe for the New York Times Book Review on Sunday March 2o, 2011, points out that this memoir "places careful, loving attention squarely on other people rather than the author." And goes on to say that it's "a rollicking, made-for-the-movies story in a wonderfully funny deadpan style." This all adds up to a book worth reading to me! It was published earlier this month by Henry Holt and Co. And is available for Kindle too!

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