The book is about traveling in China and eating Chinese food, so obviously I can relate. I especially liked the chapter on Kashgar because it described the suffering and beauty of the Uighur people so succinctly. Many of the things she wrote about I saw or experienced during our three week in China. Also she ate A LOT of stuff that I ate too and loved. (I miss you Kebab's, hand-pulled noodles and Sicuhuan peper!)
However all food porn aside the real reason that I liked this book is because it details that subtle loss of identity that happens as you become a bi-cultural person through living abroad. Anyone who has ever studied abroad, lived abroad or married into and really become a part of another culture will understand exactly what Fuchsia Dunlop is talking about as she finds herself stuck between China and England. I feel the same way sometimes my self, stuck between Colombia and California, unsure of why I sometimes seem to have trouble fiting into normal everyday American life.
The book also takes you through some of the recent changes in China (she lived there from '94-present) and the impact they've had in every way on the lives of Chinese. Lots has been said about how China is modernizing etc. but it gives this strange veneer of everything being shiny and perfect in China which isn't the whole story or even the most important part. I got my book from the local library.
"Shark Fin and Sichuan Pepper - A sweet-sour memoir of eating in China" - by Fushia ( I wish my name was Fuschia! Dunlop