Tiger Writing by Gish Jen
Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization)

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At times her narrative reads like the archetypical Western narrative of liberation from the constraints of tradition...
-NY Times


For author Gish Jen, the daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, books were once an Outsiders' Guide to the Universe. But they were something more, too. Through her eclectic childhood reading, Jen stumbled onto a cultural phenomenon that would fuel her writing for decades to come: the profound difference in self-narration that underlies the gap often perceived between East and West.

Drawing on a rich array of sources, from paintings to behavioral studies to her father's striking account of his childhood in China, this accessible book not only illuminates Jen's own development and celebrated work but also explores the aesthetic and psychic roots of the independent and interdependent self-each mode of selfhood yielding a distinct way of observing, remembering, and narrating the world. The novel, Jen writes, is fundamentally a Western form that values originality, authenticity, and the truth of individual experience. By contrast, Eastern narrative emphasizes morality, cultural continuity, the everyday, the recurrent. In its progress from a moving evocation of one writer's life to a convincing delineation of the forces that have shaped our experience for millennia, Tiger Writing radically shifts the way we understand ourselves and our art-making.


About Gish Jen

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Gish Jen is a writer living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of four novels, including Typical American and Mona in the Promised Land. Her most recent novel is World and Town.
Published March 25, 2013 by Harvard University Press. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Wesley Yang on Apr 26 2013

At times her narrative reads like the archetypical Western narrative of liberation from the constraints of tradition...

Read Full Review of Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, ... | See more reviews from NY Times

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