Cover image for Expat : women's true tales of life abroad
Expat : women's true tales of life abroad
De Tessan, Christina Henry.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Seal Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xiv, 304 pages ; 19 cm
Before and after Mexico / Gina Hyams -- A taste of home / Tonya Ward Singer -- The Liverpool school of dream and pun / Rhiannon Paine -- The long conversation / Deryn P. Verity -- Thirteen ways of looking at a blackboard / Leza Lowitz -- Jean-Claude Van Damn that was a good movie! / Emily Wise Miller -- A Mediterranean Thanksgiving, take two / Mandy Dowd -- When the skinheads start to grow hair, it's time to leave town / Angeli Primlani -- Watching them grow up / Laura Fokkena -- Wasabi was the bitter herb / Karen Rosenberg -- Making a stir-fry in Eastern Europe / Stephanie Loleng -- Muddy Waters in Borneo / Meg Wirth -- Never-never / Juleigh Howard-Hobson -- First, the blanket / Kate Baldus -- Beautiful new world / Emmeline Chang -- Saudades / Eliza Bonner -- In search of Zorba / Marci Laughlin -- Living the dream in Paris / Christina Henry de Tessan -- Conversation in Denmark / Lesley-Ann Brown -- Best friends and Balaclavas / Erica Jacobs -- Growing season / Sadie Ackerman -- Kashmar / Julie van Arcken.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G465 .E98 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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For generations, literary figures from Ernest Hemingway to Frances Mayes have fueled our fantasies about the romance of expatriate life. But it's one thing to dream about living abroad and quite another to actually do it. In Expat a diverse group of women explores in vivid detail how the reality of life abroad matches up to the fantasy. Tonya Ward Singer craves a roasted chicken in China and must buy it alive and kicking. Karen Rosenberg reevaluates both her family's Judaism and her own when invited to a Passover seder in a remote Japanese village. Mandy Dowd tries to teach the French about Thanksgiving. Emily Miller admits that in Italy she craves the Hollywood entertainment she generally deplores when on U.S. soil. Tall and fair, Meg Wirth tries hard to blend in, in Borneo-to no avail. Expat taps into the bewilderment, joys, and surprises of life overseas, where challenges often take unexpected forms and overcoming obstacles (finding Drano in Ukraine, shrimp paste in Prague) feels all the more triumphant. Featuring an astonishing range of perspectives, destinations, and circumstances, Expat offers a beautiful portrait of life abroad.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

More than romantic adventure, living abroad means that 24-hour supermarkets, reliable fuel sources, and even blankets can't be taken for granted, as the 22 contributors to Expat attest. Many of their stories focus on food. Tonya Ward Singer craves golden roasted chicken while in China, so she must purchase a newly killed bird and dress and cook it in a Chinese kitchen that is little more than a toaster oven and a slop bucket. Other contributors crave American pop culture. Emily Wise Miller finds herself eagerly anticipating lowbrow action-adventure flicks she wouldn't deign to watch on TV in the States. Still others show the expat (short for expatriate) imparting American values while learning to appreciate new friends' perspectives on life. For instance, in Egypt and among parents whom Westerners would think negligent, Laura Fokkena sees child rearing anew, as a matter of enjoying one's family rather than heroically trying to mold children into predictable products. The collection engages us because these expats are humbled and transformed by their contacts with cultures different from their own. --June Pulliam

Library Journal Review

Tourists merely visit, but expatriates get to live in another culture. Some of the women represented in this collection of 22 "tales" have lived abroad as students, teachers, or aid workers, while others either pursued career opportunities or fulfilled a romantic fascination with a particular country or culture. Motivation aside, almost all have chosen to relate experiences of vulnerability and unease and a nostalgia for the culturally familiar. An expat living in appliance-deprived China recounts her craving for and courageous attempt at roasting a chicken, while another in Prague relates the challenge of finding fresh produce in order to cook a chicken stir-fry. Yet another, in the south of France, homesick for Thanksgiving turkey, describes the troubles she had concocting such a dinner for acquaintances. Others are disheartened to discover that not all Australians have an abiding love for Yanks, that not everyone in Greece, Borneo, or Japan speaks English, and that most cultures have distinctive cues or codes that the foreigner will inevitably misinterpret. Most of the reporting is of disillusionment and cultural dissonance-cautionary tales for all who believe the global village is America. Recommended for public libraries.-Lonnie Weatherby, McGill Univ. Lib., Montreal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.