“Humorous, endearing, and intimate.” —TIME
“Mother and daughter relationships are always tricky but this peripatetic pair has outdone all of us with this most excellent adventure written by my namesake, author Connie Wang.” —Connie Chung
A dazzling mother-daughter adventure around the world in pursuit of self-discovery, a family reckoning, and Asian American defiance
In Chinese, the closest expression to oh my god is wo de ma ya. It’s an interjection, a polite expletive, something to say when you’re out of words. Translated literally, it means oh my mother—the instinctual first person you think of when you’re on the cusp of losing it, or putting it all together.
In each essay of this hilarious, heartfelt, and pitch-perfectly honest memoir, journalist Connie Wang explores her complicated relationship to her stubborn and charismatic mother, Qing Li, through the “oh my god” moments in their travels together. From attending a Magic Mike strip show in Vegas to experimenting with edibles in Amsterdam to flip-flopping through Versailles, this iconic mother-daughter duo venture into the world to find their place in it, and sometimes rail against it—as well as against each other.
There are hijinks, capers, and adventures. There is also tenderness, growth, and discovery. In telling these stories about the places they’ve gone and the things they’ve done, Wang reveals another story: the true story of two women who finally learned that once we are comfortable with the feeling of not belonging—once we can reject the need to belong to any place, community, census, designation, or nation—we can experience something almost like freedom.