- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Picador (24 Jun. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330370065
- ISBN-13: 978-0330370066
- Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 3.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,021,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
My Year of Meat Paperback – 24 Jun 1998
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At first glance, a novel that promises to expose the unethical practices of the American meat industry may not be at the top of your reading list, but Ruth Ozeki's debut, My Year of Meatsis well worth a second look. Like the author, the novel's protagonist, Jane Takagi-Little, is a Japanese-American documentary filmmaker; like Ozeki, who was once commissioned by a beef lobbying group to make television shows for the Japanese market, Jane is invited to work on a Japanese television show meant to encourage beef consumption via the not-so-subliminal suggestion that prime rib equals a perfect family:
TO: AMERICAN RESEARCH STAFFThe series, My American Wife!, initially seems like a dream come true for Jane as she criss-crosses the United States filming a different American family each week for her Japanese audience. Naturally, the emphasis is on meat, and Ozeki has fun with bizarre recipes such as rump roast in coke and beef fudge; but as Jane becomes more familiar with her subject, she becomes increasingly aware of the beef industry's widespread practice of using synthetic oestrogens on their cattle and determines to sabotage the programme.
FROM: Tokyo Office
DATE: January 5, 1991
RE: My American Wife!...
Here is list of IMPORTANT THINGS for My American Wife!.
1. Attractiveness, wholesomeness, warm personality
2. Delicious meat recipe (NOTE: Pork and other meats is second class meats, so please remember this easy motto: "Pork is Possible, but Beef is Best!")
3. Attractive, docile husband
4. Attractive, obedient children
5. Attractive, wholesome lifestyle
6. Attractive, clean house...
1. Physical imperfections
4. Second class peoples
Cut to Tokyo where Akiko Ueno struggles through the dull misery of life with her brutish husband, who happens to be in charge of the show's advertising. After seeing one of Jane's subversive episodes about a vegetarian lesbian couple, Akiko gets in touch and the two women plot to expose the meat industry's hazardous practices. Romance, humour, intrigue, and even a message--My Year of Meats has it all. This is a book that even a vegetarian would love.
'I had started my year as a documentarian. I wanted to tell the truth, to effect change, to make a difference. And up to a point, I had succeeded... I am haunted by all the things - big things and little things - that threaten to slip through the cracks, untold, out of history.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A friend of mine recommended this book to me as I have been, for the last 18 months or so, eating only organic food. I had been told about the hormones and antibiotics present in non-organic meat and dairy products, but didn't realise I knew so little about it until I read My Year of Meat. Having been a dedicated carnivore for most of my 32 years, I am now seriously considering turning totally vegetarian.
Like Time Being, My Year Of Meats, also published at one time as My Year Of Meat, is told in two voices, a hybrid American Japanese one, living in America, and a Japanese one, in Japan.
The Japanese voice is that of Akiko, a woman suffering hugely in a culture which is part way its own history, but also being bent and bending itself, into American obsession. The second voice is Jane, a version of Ozeki herself, a Westernised independent woman of Japanese American birth, born in the USA, who nevertheless is `hybrid' and therefore, whilst seeing herself as American, is viewed partly as outsider from both cultures, and indeed views both cultures from the outside.
Jane Tagaki-Little is a documentary film maker. The Beef Industry, keen to spread its markets more globally, is producing a series of real-life documentaries which are designed to sell more meat, and persuade Japanese people to `cook more American' exchanging a largely fish diet for one containing huge slabs of cow. The production company has to sell the product by selling the (artificial, air-brushed) corn-fed blonde view of the American family. The highlight of each programme in My American Wife involves cooking the slab of cow in some way, for example - in a tin of mushroom soup, rolled in dried onion soup after marinating in Coca-Cola (not Pepsi-Cola)
The programmes are car-crash rubberneckingly awful, and hysterically funny - Oprah confessional style, all at once.Read more ›
Ruth made me reconsider a lifetime's habit that I knew to be questionable from a health point of view by resolutely refusing to preach to me about the moral aspects of eating meat. She appealed to my good, old-fashioned self interest.
But to concentrate on this aspect of the book is to ignore it for what it is... a heartwarming story that juxtaposes the differences between american and Japanese cultures in an easy to comprehend, easy to read, and easy to enjoy way. It has a sprinkling of romance, a little rebellion, and a lot of information about meat production and factory farming techniques.
It changed my life... and while I doubt that I'll ever become a vegitarian, I haven't eaten beef since I read it, nor pork. Or lamb...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the product was described as used and that there might be small defects in it, it came in perfect shape. Interesting book as well. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
Anything by Ruth Ozeki is worth reading. I read this years ago, and so was interested when I came across it again. Perhaps not as good as her more recent For the Time Being.Published 5 months ago by Evi
This is the second book I've read from this author (the first was 'A Tale for the Time Being' and I enjoyed it) and it's clear to me now that she uses her books to express her... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Angela
I lived and worked in Japan for two years. I visited plenty of Temples and travelled extensively when I could even up to the ice bound Hokkaido in winter to see the Cranes. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kenneth James Walker
I had to read this book as it was selected by a member of my book club. I was reluctant, and it took me a while to settle into it but eventually got to grips with it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by PJF