The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters
James D. McCawley
Chicago University Press
248 pag. paperback 12 x 18 cm
Lauded by Calvin Trillin as a man who "does not have to make to with translations like 'Shredded Three Kinds' in Chinese restaurants," in The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters, James D. McCawley offers everyone a guide to deciphering the mysteries of Chinese menus and the opportunity to enjoy new eating experiences. An accessible primer as well as a handy reference, this book shows how Chinese characters are written and referred to, both in script and in type. McCawley provides a guide to pronunciation and includes helpful exercises so users can practice ordering. His novel system of arranging the extensive glossary—which ranges from basics such as "rice" and "fish" to exotica like "Buddha Jumps Wall"—enables even the beginner to find characters quickly and surely. He also includes the nonstandard forms of characters that often turn up on menus.
With this guide in hand, English speakers hold the key to a world of tantalizing—and otherwise unavailable—Chinese dishes.