The daughter of Chinese immigrants, fiction writer Gish Jen has mined the bi-cultural experience over the past several years — with solid results. From Mona in the Promised Land, a comic novel about a first-generation Chinese-American teen who decides to be Jewish, to World and Town, in which assimilated New Englander Hattie Kong finds herself at odds with a family of fresh-off-the-boat Cambodian immigrants, her stories and novels benefit from the rich autobiographical material that haunts her fiction. But for her latest book, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self ($18.95, Harvard University Press), Jen turned to nonfiction to create a treatise on the constant conflict that inspires her: the independent American versus the interdependent Asian. Dry and scholarly? Perhaps, though David Damrosch (What Is World Literature?) calls it “a rare case of a book on writing that itself is a joy to read.”
After all, the study of writing shouldn’t just be for other writers. Jen will read from Tiger Writing at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. For more information, go to www.tatteredcover.com or call 303-436-1070.
Tue., March 19, 7:30 p.m., 2013