My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store
This warm and funny tale of an earnest preppy editor finding himself trapped behind the counter of a Brooklyn convenience store is about family, culture and identity in an age of discombobulation.It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe's wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to... show more
This warm and funny tale of an earnest preppy editor finding himself trapped behind the counter of a Brooklyn convenience store is about family, culture and identity in an age of discombobulation.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.
Publish date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages no: 320
Edition language: English
, Food And Drink
, Book Club
, Biography Memoir
, New York
My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder HoweThere are books I read that make me wish I were as good at reviewing books as I am at reading them. This book is one of these. Howe is the WASP-iest of WASPs, with Pilgrim ancestors who came over on the first boats, and an A+ education. He's an editor at the Paris Rev...
Easily a 3.5 star book. I read it in a weekend -- a rare occurrence in my world -- and enjoyed every minute of it. I really appreciated/enjoyed his non-whiney, deer-in-headlights take on opening and running a deli with his wife and Korean in-laws.
This book was totally unexpected. I didn't really read the description of the book, but since I love to read off beat memoirs, I thought, sure, why not? Just from the title alone, I was only counting on a person and their dive into the deep end of self employment retail hell, but I got so much mor...