Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington
An American Family's Journey in China

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



When all-American Aminta Arrington moves from suburban Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn't go alone. Her army husband and three young children, including an adopted Chinese daughter, uproot themselves too.

Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain some of the culture she lost when the Arringtons brought her to America as a baby.

In the university town of Tai'an, a small city where pigs' hooves are available at the local supermarket, donkeys share the road with cars, and the warm-hearted locals welcome this strange looking foreign family, the Arringtons settle in . . . but not at first. Aminta teaches at the university, not realizing she is countering the propaganda the students had memorized for years. Her creative, independent (and loud) American children chafe in their classrooms, the first rung in society's effort to ensure conformity. The family is bewildered by the seemingly endless cultural differences they face, but they find their way. With humor and unexpectedly moving moments, Aminta's story is appealingly reminiscent of Reading Lolita in Tehran. It will rivet anyone who is thinking of adopting a child, or anyone who is already familiar with the experience. An everywoman with courage and acute cultural perspective, Aminta recounts this transformative quest with a freshness that will delight anyone looking for an original, accessible point of view on the new China.

About Aminta Arrington

See more books from this Author
AMINTA ARRINGTON has an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and studied at Waseda University in Tokyo. She has written about China for The Seattle Times, and she edited the anthology Saving Grandmother's Face: And Other Tales from Christian Teachers in China. Arrington continues to live and work in China with her family.
Published July 5, 2012 by The Overlook Press. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Home is a Roof Over a Pig

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

A miltary wife turned ESL instructor's sharp-eyed account of how the adoption of a Chinese baby girl led to her family's life-changing decision to live and work in rural China.

May 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

American teacher Arrington (editor, Saving Grandmother’s Face) nicely demystifies the Chinese language for English speakers in this down-to-earth memoir chronicling her family’s stint in the Chinese province of Shandong on the eve of the Beijing Olympics.

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An...

Christian Science Monitor

Are we best defined by the language we speak, the schools we attend, the religion our parents subscribe to, or the country that offers us citizenship?

Aug 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An...

Reader Rating for Home is a Roof Over a Pig

An aggregated and normalized score based on 27 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review