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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 245

"Stealing Buddha’s Dinner" is a story by Bich Minh Nguyen. In the story, Bich describes her childhood life as a young refugee from Vietnam. Bich and her family were forced out of Vietnam by the political instability and warfare that had engulfed the country. Despite most of her family members, including her father, grandmother, and uncles, being able to flee from Vietnam to the US, her mother was not as lucky and was left behind. After the family moved to the United States, Biche’s father got married to a woman by the name Rosa, who had a daughter named Chrissy. Bich hardly fits in with the rest of the students, thus she derives her comfort from books. Eventually, this means that she does well in school, and for that reason, she becomes a darling to her teachers. Along the way, she befriends Loan, a Vietnamese student in her class, and Jennifer Vander Wall, who is her neighbor. Bich forms a habit of stealing the fruits that her grandmother, Noi, places in front of Buddha's statue that is at their home, hence the title of the memoir. Bich is obsessed with food, especially American snacks and other food products. She has a craving for different kinds of food including spaghetti, macaroni, and cheese. She thinks that such food ought to make her fit into the American culture. Later on in the memoir, she is able to meet her mother and travel back to Vietnam.

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