Recipe from an Oyster - A Memoir
by Doreen Gandy Wiley
Recipe from an Oyster is a collection of essays and poetry about life in the United States following Doreen Gandy Wiley's grim experiences in World War II in the Philippines. The book vividly describes the author's personal pain after she and her family arrive as refugees in the United States. Her personal battles with her new life ultimately result in spiritual growth.
Like the oyster, Wiley faces towering challenges, and through persistence and patience finds the "pearls" in her new life---precious gifts of a loving family, marriage, children, and a teaching career. Chapters about death, a near-fatal accident, and being robbed in Mexico will keep the reader turning pages.
The memoir's title is taken from a poem Wiley had published in The Youth Instructor in 1968. Twenty-two chapters built on subjects illustrated by quotes from literature and reflected in deeply felt prose and poetry add to the book's universal appeal.
Doreen Gandy Wiley's ability as a a writer makes this memoir distinctive, as does her no-holds-barred examination of her colorful life, and the various events and struggles that have crafted her into the person she is today. Recipe from an Oyster is a book readers won't want to put down.
Betty Buckley Finnegan, writer and artist, National League of American Pen Women, Portland Branch
Doreen Wiley, poet and teacher, guides us on her historical, international journey with insight and compassion. As she puts it: "It is those who love us who make the difference."
Lawson F. Inada, Poet Laureate of Oregon