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The Book

Born in Taiwan but gone to a junior high school in America, then back to Taiwan for college, and immigrated to America again, the author paints vivid pictures of postwar Taiwan and America in the sixties, and compares the Chinese and American cultures through education systems, the business world, and life in general.

The author touches on growing pains; disillusionment; the wear and tear of marriage, parenting, and relationships; challenges and betrayal in the business world; finding herself at fifty-five; and her extraordinary and otherworldly encounters. She reveals complicated Chinese cultural traditions and recounts the Second Sino-Japanese War through her father’s recollections. From working at a Buddhist organization and from taking care of her father, she comes to understand birth, aging, sickness, and death.

The author considers herself “half a banana”—yellow on the outside but a bit white on the inside. Having lived in the States for forty-three years, she understands both Chinese and American cultures well and shows how the two cultures, especially the fundamental difference between them, have molded her life. Dotted with well-known Chinese sayings and anecdotes, Memoir of Half a Banana offers an interesting and truthful glimpse into the Chinese people and ideology.