Title: HUNGER: THE LIFE OF JIN
GENRE: Adult Literary
Word Count: 73000
Born with a strange, voracious hunger, Jin has eaten his family out of house and home, leaving them impoverished. But no matter how much he devours, his hunger remains.
Jin journeys to the Kitchen God's home in the Yandang Mountains. Intrigued with his unearthly appetite, the Kitchen God rewards Jin, his new disciple, with the gift of cooking the most delicious food in the world. Jin falls in love with Zhaohui, the Kitchen God's daughter, and they journey to the glittering city of Shanghai. But Jin's wonderful gift does more than bring him good fortune. His newfound prosperity draws the attention of the Green Gang, a criminal organization, which demands Jin's life to repay the blood debt his late father incurred. Jin's only choice is to run and to leave what he holds most precious behind.
Jin travels from the corrupt city of Shanghai to the shores of the Philippines searching for a new life. In a new land, he struggles to cope with a crippling depression that robs him of his ability to cook. Without the capacity to create dishes that sing on the tongue and senses, Jin loses his identity. He journeys to find it again in the one place it has always rested: the mastery of the kitchen.
Jin must find the strength to trust in his talents and overcome his painful past. If he doesn't, he will never relearn the language of food, and without that, he will have nothing else to live for.
A fortuneteller foretold Mei's fate but her mother-in-law sealed it. Mei lowered her gaze and fanned herself, keeping the sweltering heat at bay. Her pregnancy was almost at an end, the baby was sure to come any day now.
“Did you drink the tea before we left?” her mother-in-law asked. Drinking the vile concoction was part of Mei's penance for failing to provide the Tan family with a son.
Inside the rickshaw carriage, her skeletal mother-in-law stared at Mei's distended belly. The tea had been taken too late and would not affect the sex of the baby. No doubt Mei was full of ill luck.
Three daughters and still no sons. If not for her considerable dowry, her husband would have taken a concubine by now. Dowry or not, this marriage was cursed because the family line must continue, with or without Mei's womb.
The wheels bounced along the dirt road, rattling the passengers inside. Mei played with the wooden fan's tassel on her lap while the older woman stared off into the distance. When conversations were disguised as forms of condescending guidance, Mei welcomed the silence.
The distance and the farm fields swallowed the two-story family compound before giving way to the stilted village with its slanted, tiled roofs. The fluttering of Mei's sandalwood fan attempted to mask the scent of the seaside fish market. The summer heat simmered the rotting fish and exposed human refuse into a pungent boil. Her mother-in-law pinched her nostrils and muttered under her breath.