From China with Love and Squalor

May 10th, 2007 by Rachel

Elizabeth_eating_at_Gonpachi.JPGI guess editors shouldn’t play favorites with features any more than parents should with children. But who cares? I’m my momma’s favorite, and The World Tour Compatibility Test is mine.

An eleven-part Memoirville series, The WTCT is Elizabeth Koch’s chronicle of a journey across Asia, as well as some exotic emotional waters. As she and Todd tasted duck bills, climbed the Great Wall, got mauled by sacred deer, videotaped toilets, and bickered in strange Japanese pleasure pods, they tried to determine whether they were meant to be. The vibrant descriptions of culture-clash minutia (liquid candy bar, anyone?) kept me laughing while the cycles of love and resistance had me cringing in recognition. There’s also some blistering cruelty and some hot sex.

Last week was the final entry, a small masterpiece of tension and semi-resolution. The good news about that is newcomers can read them all at once, episodic but fluid, like a DVD box set of The West Wing or slipcased collection of Harry Potter novels (anyone who knows me knows I’ve just revealed my entire social life). The bad news is now we’ve all got to cool our jets and wait for the book.

Catch up on the World Tour Compatibility Test Here: Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, more Tokyo, two entries in Nara, two in Kyoto, and a return to Tokyo.

And if you’ve got a memoir-in-progress just ripe for serialization, let us know.

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