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Marty Wu, compulsive reader of advice manuals, is easily flustered. She’d like to come across as poised and professional, but she trips over her own feet, spills coffee on her boss, blurts out things she’s not supposed to say. The bulk of her brain matter, she decides, consists of gerbils “spinning madly in alternating directions.” With a job she longs to quit and a formidable mother who’s impossible to please, Marty ricochets between the stress of New York and the warmth of extended family in Taiwan. In a diary brimming with bi-cultural wisecracks, Marty confides her anxieties and frustrations, her pipe dream to open a boutique costume shop, and her discovery of family secrets old and new.