A Cab Called Reliable: A Novel by Patti Kim

By Patti Kim

An striking debut and interesting new voice in multicultural fiction.

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Sample text

The iron, still hot and propped up, stood next to the door. On the doorknob hung my father's dress shirt. I crossed my legs. I waited near the shoes. Min Joo's wet hair was parted down the middle. When he sat next to me, I smelled shampoo. I told him he didn't wash it all out. "Your hair's still soapy. " Min Joo shrugged his shoulders, pressed his elbows onto his knees, rested his chin in the palms of his hands, and told me that our father was still sleeping. "You should've woken him up," I said.

Boris is coming. " she asked, looking up at the sky. Boris's mother was out of her uniform and wearing a light blue robe, which made her look like an ordinary grandmother. "It's a new bug for our collection. " "I'm not looking for them. I just walked into it. My father wanted me to get his money from the car. " I held up the three dollars. She turned her head, again said something in Portuguese, then, looking down at me, said that Boris was getting dressed because he had just taken a bath and we'd better not do anything that got us dirty.

Your hair," I said. " She turned off the running water. " she asked, running the water again. "It's falling into the food," I said clearly and loudly. As she pulled out the guts of the fish, she told me to go get her a barrette or rubber band for her hair instead of just standing there and watching her like some dumb tourist. "My hair's too short for barrettes. I don't wear them," I said. "Then get me a rubber band," she said. " "Would you get one out? " "They're too little to hold your hair," I said, walking out of the kitchen.

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