Monday, July 27, 2015

New Agent 24: AMERICAN PANDA, Women's Fiction

Title: American Panda
Word Count: 8​7​,000
Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction


Mei’s refusal to stick herself with needles makes her the crazy one in her traditional Taiwanese family. She tries to be the obedient daughter, but her mother’s comments about Mei’s expiring ovaries and unladylike eating habits are harder to stomach than fermented tofu. Good thing her parents don’t understand sarcasm.

Despite her mumbled comebacks, Mei’s life is on her parents’ predetermined track: she’s a senior at MIT, her medical school applications are in (even though she’s germophobic), and she no longer speaks to her brother—ahem, ex-brother—who was disowned for dating a reproductively-challenged woman. 

But Mei struggles with her identity when she glimpses her future self in her unhappy gynecologist who shunned her homosexual brother “for the ancestors.” The more Mei finds herself, the further she moves from her parents’ traditions. She pursues her passion for dance, spending time away from her studies. Then, she rejects the sons of her mom’s friends and pursues Darren, who is not a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer. Even worse, he’s Japanese and thus, according to Mei’s mother, responsible for the death of Mei’s ancestors.

When Mei musters the courage to tell her parents she’s not sure about medical school, they slap her with the ultimate shame​. Disownment.​ Mei faces a decision: sacrifice a piece of herself to repair her relationship with her parents or live the life she wants, but without family.
First 250: 

Mei Lu is probably the only MIT senior who sees her parents every Saturday, but she’d rather eat chicken feet than fight them. If you don’t have traditional Taiwanese parents, you don’t get to judge, and you probably don’t appreciate how disgusting chicken feet really are.

Mei’s mother, a force of nature in a tiny package, greets her daughter with a frown and pinch to the side. “Did you gain weight?”

Intent on avoiding another painful squeeze, Mei bats her mother’s petite hand away. Instead of taking the hint, her mother’s fists meet her hips and she stares her daughter down. Well, technically, she’s staring up, but her eyes, as usual, say she’s the boss.

Personally, Mei prefers not to look like a chopstick, but she’s in the minority. Her zaftig build and square face will never be good enough for her shallow mother. Mei—whose name, ironically, means beautiful in Mandarin—is not the classic Chinese beauty; no tiny frame that will “fall over when the wind blows” and no face shaped like gua zi, the pointed melon seed some Asians shave their jawlines to achieve. No, Mei’s genes come from her dad. Ahem, her two-hundred-fifty-pound dad, whose college nickname was Lu Pang, or Fat Lu.

“Are you even exercising?” her mom continues. Mei clamps her mouth shut, afraid she’ll reveal how much time she’s spent in dance class, away from studying. Her mother shakes a bony finger. “You need to be careful, Mei. How will you ever get a man?

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in reading more. Please send a 1-page synopsis and the first 50 pages to Please include #NewAgent on your subject line and your query in the body of the email. Looking forward to reading your submission.