When a Chinese American man marries a white American woman in 1950’s California, no one thinks twice.  Move them to New Jersey, surrounded by a  multitude of races and nearby New York culture, add the turbulent ’60s and fights for equal rights, and you may have some uncomfortable bumps while America stretches and groans to contain a birthing revolution.  Move this family to a small South Dakota farming community, however, one that has no tolerance for change and revolution, and you’ve got yourself a problem.

May-Lee Chai’s memoir Hapa Girl: A Memoir is honest, humorous, and painfully straightforward.  Reading now what were the facts of their lives 40 years ago leaves the reader in wonderment over the ways of human nature and its oftentimes adverse reactions to anything different.

May-Lee’s family was caught completely off guard when their new South Dakota town didn’t accept them, treating them less than human.  As the pressures of a lack of acceptance and downright hatred bear down on them, the family begins to splinter apart.  Written with a transitioning America as the backdrop, Hapa Girl is not only a study of racism and bigotry, but a study on the well-written memoir.  Chai’s style is sincere, often sarcastic, always brutally truthful.  Its consistency of voice and effortless flow make Hapa Girl: A Memoir a must-read for the lover of memoir.

PhotobucketCongrats to winner Susan!  You’ll have a lot of fun reading this one.  Sometimes memoirs are stranger than fiction.  Maybe that’s why I love them so much–the knowledge that the stuff you’re reading actually happened.  So is the case with Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith.  Probably the most unusual memoir I’ve ever read, Walking Through Walls takes you through Smith’s life growing up with a father who is an interior designer with powerful psychic abilities.  Smith’s father becomes more and more dedicated to learning about his gift, and while he uses his gifts to help and heal, his bizarre lifestyle sometimes gets the better of Philip.  After all, when your father’s a psychic it’s hard to get away with much.

Philip Smith’s writing style is nothing short of absorbing.  His ability to put his life into a smoothly flowing, engaging novel format makes this a fascinating read no matter what your beliefs on psychics and the paranormal.  The dialog is well written and convincing, and Smith holds nothing back–good or bad–when talking about his family.  These are just a few reasons this book gets the Goldfish Award.  The rest of the reasons?  Unless you’re psychic, you’ll have to read the book to find out.  

Here’s your chance to win a copy of Walking Through Walls.

3 Ways to Win:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what you think of the supernatural.  Do you believe in miracles?  Psychics? Aliens?  Be thoughtful with your comment! Winners are randomly chosen, but if the name drawn doesn’t respond, I choose the next winner by comment.

2.) Email subscribers are entered into this and all future giveaways, for as long as their subscription is active. Simply place your email address in the little white box at the top of my sidebar on the right. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail. Only verified subscriptions are entered for all the giveaways.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win! You have until midnight EST on Sunday, October 12, 2008, to enter.