NOW AN ORIGINAL SERIES ON ABC • “Just may be the best new comedy of [the year] . . . based on restaurateur Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name . . . [a] classic fresh-out-of-water comedy.”—People
“Bawdy and frequently hilarious . . . a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America . . . as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan . . . rowdy [and] vital . . . It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS
Assimilating ain’t easy. Eddie Huang was raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) immigrants—his father a cocksure restaurateur with a dark past back in Taiwan, his mother a fierce protector and constant threat. Young Eddie tried his hand at everything mainstream America threw his way, from white Jesus to macaroni and cheese, but finally found his home as leader of a rainbow coalition of lost boys up to no good: skate punks, dealers, hip-hop junkies, and sneaker freaks. This is the story of a Chinese-American kid in a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac blazing his way through America’s deviant subcultures, trying to find himself, ten thousand miles from his legacy and anchored only by his conflicted love for his family and his passion for food. Funny, moving, and stylistically inventive, Fresh Off the Boat is more than a radical reimagining of the immigrant memoir—it’s the exhilarating story of every American outsider who finds his destiny in the margins.
Praise for Fresh Off the Boat
“Brash and funny . . . outrageous, courageous, moving, ironic and true.”—New York Times Book Review
“Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here. He does everything with style.”—Anthony Bourdain
“Uproariously funny . . . emotionally honest.”—Chicago Tribune
“Huang is a fearless raconteur. [His] writing is at once hilarious and provocative; his incisive wit pulls through like a perfect plate of dan dan noodles.”—Interview
“Although writing a memoir is an audacious act for a thirty-year-old, it is not nearly as audacious as some of the things Huang did and survived even earlier. . . . Whatever he ends up doing, you can be sure it won’t look or sound like anything that’s come before. A single, kinetic passage from Fresh Off the Boat . . . is all you need to get that straight.”—Bookforum
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
TV’s Fresh Off the Boat is a lighthearted family sitcom, but it whitewashes a lot of celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s real-life experiences as the son of Taiwanese immigrants in the ’90s. Huang’s memoir—the inspiration for the series—is unblinking in its depictions of the racism his family faced and in its revelations about adolescent bad behavior. But the book’s also full of humor and joy, paying tribute to family, friends, hip-hop, and—most of all—food. Huang’s joy in his culinary culture comes through loud and proud, and we celebrate with him as he discovers his passion and stubbornly refuses to conform.
Huang, the founder of the popular East Village food shop Baohaus, tells his unconventional immigrant fable with his FOB ("fresh off the boat") parents and his unusual relatives living the Yankee dream. He traces his food jones to his father's restaurant in Orlando, Fla., wrestling with his Chinese identity, while embracing a love of old school hip-hop, Michael Jackson, Charles Barkley, and Jonathan Swift's satirical "A Modest Proposal." Writing with attitude, Huang details his journey from novice cook sampling Haitian ribs, Southern cooking, Japanese Izakaya wings, Bon Chon Korean fried chicken, and Taiwanese foods to opening his landmark eatery known for its fashionable, simple Asian street food. "I grew up in the excess of the Brat Pack Madonna Joe Montana Michael Jackson 80s and the NWA MJ Nirvana World Wide Web nineties, and we saw the residual battles from seminal cases like Roe v. Wade or Regents of the University of California v. Bakke," Huang writes. Brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip, Huang reconfigures the popular foodie memoir into something worthwhile and very memorable.
Definitely a great read. The show is hood also. Would be better if the corporations let Eddie have full creative control. We NEED more minorities telling our own stories.
Fresh off the boat
Not what I expected, some parts were better than others, but I’m glad I finished, son.
Vivid writing, moving stories, full of deep human truths. I actually like the audiobook better, because it's in Eddie's own voice. Please keep in mind that this is a memoir rich with pain and triumph, not a humor book. I can't understand why they chose to attempt to turn this moving book into a comedy. It might have made a good drama, if Huang had been given full creative control. As it is, as much as I recommend the book, I suggest avoiding the series, which leeches the authenticity out of Eddie Huang's unforgettable story.