Very often, Americans and newcomers attempt to interact at social gatherings, sharing information about each other via food tasting, invitations to partake in customs, and general exchanges of cultural details. However well-intentioned these efforts may be, both groups sometimes assume that the work of getting to know one another ends there.
Tyler, I think, intends for the reader to see that there is much more below the surface; it is too easy to get caught up in the way people look, the way they speak, the way they behave. Some characters in Tyler’s book fall into the trap of ethnocentrism, while others are politically correct to the point of being offensive. This book examines the opportunities that are lost when we make assumptions and when we believe that our way is the only way.
I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of times as a child, when I watched my mother fuss over perfect party preparations. She was eager to please and impress, as the guest list was a "mixed" crowd, including my father's American colleagues, and our Bolivian family and friends. Quite naturally, both groups gravitated to separate areas of the room. Fortunately, food, drinks, and music eventually got everyone to mingle.
Are you interested in this book? I'd be glad to send it to you. Comment on this post by Wednesday, August 20, and mention that you're interested in the book. I will select a winner and mail it to you.