A Nyonya in Texas – Lee Su Kim


Lee Su Kim is a writer of Straits Chinese parentage. Her father is a fifth generation Baba from Malacca and her mother a Nyonya from Penang. She is currently Associate Professor at the School of Language Studies and Linguistics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia where she teaches Langauge and Culture. She lived in Texas from 1996 to 2000 and obtained her Doctorate in Education during her stay there.

She is the author of seven book including two bestsellers, Malaysian Flavours and Manglish: Malaysian English at its Wackiest. She was a columnist for The Star (a leading English language newspaper in Malaysia), for three years. She is also a corporate trainer for cross-cultural awareness and communication skills.

The book in one sentence: An erudite Malaysian perspective on the American life.

Who would you recommend it to: People who are interested to learn about Malaysia, despite the book focusing on America.

OK bits: I like the author’s personable writing style.

Boring bits: Nothing boring about it to me.

Random review quote:

“A light and insightful page turner that vividly captures the obvious and subtle differences of Asian and American culture. A must read for anyone who is interested in understanding cultural differences – Asians, new immigrants and Americans alike!” – Lili Zheng, International Tax Partner (Deloitte Tax LLP) Deputy Managing Partner (Chinese Services Group, USA)

Verdict: I could relate a lot to this book, being a Chinese who can’t speak Mandarin myself and can only utter broken Cantonese at the best of times. It lends insight about the myth of the American life and the reality of it from a Malaysian perspective. A good read, in short! This is one Malaysian book I would buy (I don’t usually buy books written by local writers, though I’d happily read them).

Related Malaysian book review


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. lovelyloey
    Mar 07, 2009 @ 18:48:23

    This SO coincides with the nonya craze in Singapore recently.

    Anyway I hated The Rule of Four. The ending was !! I wanted to kick someone.

    nylusmilk: why got nyonya craze? new eatery opened up? haha… i don’t get it why paul had to die like that! not too crazy about the ending either, but i like that whole “da vinci code in college” premise. ­čśŤ


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