This book A Cab Called Reliable by Patti Kim is an Asian American/Korean American literary classic and should be on every reading list for Asian American literature. This book was written decades before its time and Kim writes with authority, lyricism and fluidity. There is a complicated protagonist and the book reveals the raw truths of childhood and immigration. This story is about the dark side of Confucianism, how we are imprisoned by family and long for affection. We read what we know to be true: that children know far too early, the truths of disappointment and joy, that the myths of America immigration are narratives that must be rewritten by those who know–
This book will be read decades from now. I don’t say that about many books, because frankly, most are forgotten, we write always for now, for who we are, and some write for the future, but there is a bit of a grandiose delusion about this too. To live and write in the present, whether that be of the past, is the true challenge of an artist.
I believe that this book has been somewhat sidelined because how it was initially perceived as a YA book. This is appropriate for secondary levels, but it is NOT of the YA genre in its plotting or tone. (Those are fun, but this is not YA). This is literature.
A powerful beautifully written book. Buy it. Check it out. Read it.