For this Asian-American novelist, soba noodles flecked with gold embody new year traditions

Every year my mother would make a bowl of Japanese New Year’s Eve noodles for my American father and me. “Just this one tradition,” she would entreat; she didn’t like American New Year, and longed for Japanese-style festivities. One year, I found one of my noodles tied in a knot, which she assured me was a sign of good fortune. I wasn’t so sure. I didn’t even really like noodles.

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