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My Year of Meat -Amazon UK
nourriture dans les arts
My Year of Meat
 Ruth L Ozeki
 Macmillan
   

My Year of Meat is a convincing blend of fact and fiction that will undoubtedly alter the way you view a "nice bit of steak", particularly if you are a frequent visitor to the United States. What makes this book such a winner is that Ozeki combines fact with social satire so that humour in
always lurking below the surface, even when such "meaty" issues as domestic violence, eating disorders, drug-induced cancer and cross-cultural misunderstandings are being discussed.

The main character, Jane Takagi-Little, is the daughter of a Japanese mother and an American father. An unemployed documentary maker, Jane leaps at the opportunity to co-ordinate a joint Japanese-American television series called "My American Wife!" about American families and their favourite meat dishes. Jane's role is to find these "authentic" families and persuade them to take part in the programme. During the course of the year Jane begins to find her conscience is at war with her bank account as she learns about meat production in the USA.

Running parallel to Jane's story of discovery is the story of unhappy Japanese wife, Akiko Ueno, whose violent, domineering husband is also involved in the creation of "My American Wife!". Joichi forces his wife to re-create the meals she sees on the programme, with surprizing results for them both.

My Year of Meat is as entertaining as it is informative, and reveals as much about the changing nature of American society as it does about meat production. I look forward with anticipation to Ozeki's next novel, All Over Creation, in which she tackles the production of genetically
modified crops.

D Vinicombe

 
 
The New York Times
Reviewer -Lise Funderburg- July 26 98


"Possible cancer-causing hormones in rump roasts are just one of the issues Ozeki embeds in her otherwise cunning burlesque; the novel's characters also contend with infertility, infidelity and domestic violence. Often these concerns are seamlessly incorporated into the plot; at other times, Ozeki (herself a documentary filmmaker) allows her fiction to be overshadowed by her message.."