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Class Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Teresa Wu, ERC '10

Listen to Mom. “Get a cat. But don’t get an [sic] lazy American fatty cat. Get a hungry Chinese cat.”
Anyone with an immigrant background knows how amusing it can be to receive this kind of unsolicited advice from parents, especially through modern-day media of text messages and e-mail. But when Teresa Wu, ERC ’10, along with her co-creator Serena Wu, decided to post the lovably misspelled messages of Asian-American parents on their blog, MyMomIsAFob.com, in October 2008, the hilarity became an instant Internet hit.
The blog soon materialized into a book deal, and just over two years later Teresa and Serena published a compilation of fan-generated submissions into My Mom Is a Fob: Earnest Advice in Broken English from Your Asian-American Mom. The book was released in January 2011 and includes a foreword by comedian Margaret Cho.

“I think it’s one of those things that if you relate to it, you really, really relate to it,” says Wu, a Taiwanese-American. “People read it and it instantly clicks with them. It’s the same way people love Sriracha sauce or pho—just cultural things that people can identify with.” 

Wu says the success of the blog has been very surreal and unexpected but that it also happened over a long period of time. She recently talked about her book on NPR and was featured in the New Yorker. Wu now lives in New York City, where she works for Google as the Community Manager of Google Docs.