Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City

ISBN:
9781953534675
Pub Date:
05/16/2023
List Price:
$27.95
Page Count:
304
ISBN:
9781953534743
Pub Date:
05/16/2023
List Price:
$27.95
Page Count:
304

An incandescent, exquisitely written memoir about family, food, girlhood, resistance, and growing up in a Chinese American restaurant on the Jersey shore.

“I love the tenderness and ferocity of her prose, unsentimental and wrenching, that refuses easy triumph in its immigrant story and isn’t afraid of uncovering both beauty and brutality.” —Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus

In the late 1980s on the Jersey shore, Jane Wong watches her mother shake ants from an MSG bin behind the family’s Chinese restaurant. She is a hungry daughter frying crab rangoon for lunch, a child sneaking naps on bags of rice, a playful sister scheming to trap her brother in the freezer before he traps her first. She is part of a family staking their claim to the American dream, even as this dream crumbles. Beneath Atlantic City’s promise lies her father’s gambling addiction, an addiction that causes him to disappear for days and ultimately leads to the loss of the restaurant.

In her debut memoir, Wong tells a new story about Atlantic City, one that resists a single identity, a single story, as she writes about making do with what you have—and what you don’t. What does it mean, she asks, to be both tender and angry? What is strength without vulnerability—and humor? Filled with beauty found in unexpected places, Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City is a resounding love song of the Asian American working class, a portrait of how we become who we are, and a story of lyric wisdom to hold and to share.

Praise

  • Jane Wong, with her poet’s eye for precise and delightful detail, carves out a quintessential story of family, gambling, loss, heartaches, toothaches, and above all, love. Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City takes a father’s addiction to the prismatic casinos of Atlantic City and places it against a mother’s fierce, unsparing devotion and a daughter’s struggle to make sense of loss. I love the tenderness and ferocity of her prose, unsentimental and wrenching, that refuses easy triumph in its immigrant story and isn’t afraid of uncovering both beauty and brutality. Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City is, at heart, a love story between Wong and her mother, Wong and herself.

    —Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus