by Weike Wang
from the June 18, 2018 issue of The New Yorker
Weike Wang won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her debut novel Chemistry this past year. I myself have not read it nor have I heard much about it. If any of you have read Chemistry, or know more of Wang’s work, please share.
“Omakase” is the story of a couple sitting to have dinner at an omakase restaurant in Harlem. In Deborah Treisman’s interview with the author (here), Treisman says the man is white and the woman is the daughter of Chinese immigrants who “struggles to believe that his interest in her is not racially motivated.” Here’s how it begins:
The couple decided that tonight they would go out for sushi. Two years ago, they’d met online. Three months ago, they’d moved in together. Previously, she’d lived in Boston, but now she lived in New York with him.
The woman was a research analyst at a bank downtown. The man was a ceramic-pottery instructor at a studio uptown. Both were in their late thirties, and neither of them wanted kids. Both enjoyed Asian cuisine, specifically sushi, specifically omakase. It was the element of surprise that they liked. And it suited them in different ways. She got nervous looking at a list of options and would second-guess herself. He enjoyed going with the flow. What is the best choice? she’d ask him when flipping through menus with many pages and many words, and he’d reply, The best choice is whatever you feel like eating at the moment.
I hope you’ll let us know what you liked or didn’t like about “Omakase.” Please share below!