New Book: Listen To The Squawking Chicken By Elaine Lui

2014 April 22

The title alone is enough for me to say SURE!
Who wouldn’t want to read an advanced reader copy about a Squawking Chicken?


New Book: Listen to the Squawking Chicken 4 starsPlus I had an 11 hour flight of boredom to fill.
(Right, feel sorry for me, I was Hawaii-bound.)

I might not have read the press release real closely about The Squawking Chicken part…

Wait, this isn’t a novel? It’s a memoir of sorts about the author’s mother. (AKA a really loud and extremely red-fingernailed Chinese Canadian immigrant.)

She wrote an exposé about her MOTHER??

Here’s the real gossip.

Elaine Lui is a well-known Canadian gossip columnist. She writes her own blog, taps out witty tweets and appears on television. She attends swanky after-Oscar parties and pretty much lives in a world totally cooler than most folks can imagine. I’m now following her everywhere, I even watched her TED talk. I’m not into celebrity gossip, and I hate People magazine. But ‘Lainey’ is hilarious and makes fun of the celebs in equal part with reporting their Tabloid doings.



This book ISN’T about her story.
It’s about a feisty mother who reinvented herself several times.
It’s fascinating. It’s funny. And there are a lot of papayas involved.
I read most of it in the last few hours of my flight—Post-Melatonin.

I was expecting a Mother-Daughter-Love-Hate story along the lines of an early Amy Tan book. I’m a sucker for books like that where I get to see deep inside another culture with enough ties to my own culture to really enjoy the pain and joy and sorrow and gritty real life.

Yes, it is a mother-daughter-love-hate relationship described in these pages. But Elaine is a well-adjusted kid who grew up loving her wacky mother and maybe even appreciating the lessons learned even if the method of delivery was in terms of ‘Pre-Shaming’ and ‘Feng Shui Blackmail’. —I’ll never look at a papaya the same way again.

Plus there is a whole list of ‘Low Classy’ behaviors I’m still confused by… Please Please Please don’t tell her mom that I’m a leg jiggler!

It’s no wonder Elaine Lui grew up to be a professional gossip.
You’ll see after reading, she learned from the best.

Also I’m now DYING to learn how to play Mah-Jong.
No, not the app on your phone.
The kind where a Chinese mob boss breaks down your door!

I give Listen to the Squawking Chicken 4 Stars.

  • Definitely you should read it. Totally worth the $9.99 Kindle price.
  • It’s available today—special for Earth Day!
    (Maybe it’s an auspicious Feng Shui day her mother picked? Wait… too many fours?)
  • It’s PG-13 for swearing, but not so awful my mother couldn’t read it.

This would be brilliant as a book club choice. Because, everyone has their own mother-daughter-love-hate story to share and everyone learned something from their own squawking mother.

I’m still confused by the papayas by the way.

Disclaimer: I was given this book to read if I chose at no cost to me.
I was not expected to write about it. My opinions and papaya confusions are all my own.

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2 Responses
  1. April 28, 2015

    I just reserved this title from my library. Can’t wait to read it – if only to see what this papaya business is all about…
    Twitter: teresashaw

    • April 28, 2015

      It’s a great read. The PG-13 warning is real, a few F-words.

      Plus seriously go read Lainey’s blog… 🙂

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