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book cover of 

Who's Irish?

Who's Irish?

(1999)
A collection of stories by

 
his is a cracker collection of astutely funny stories by Chinese-American writer Gish Jen. In the title story, Jen gets into the opinionated head of a 68-year- old Chinese-American who strives to save her 3-year-old granddaughter, Sophie from being taken over by her wild Irish side. "My daughter tell me I should not say Irish this, Irish that", but she can't understand why none of the four sons in her son-in-law's family work. "I am work hard my whole life, and fierce besides." Resenting words like "supportive" and "creative" which aren't used in China, the gran's disciplining methods are met with shocked disapproval. Wryly observant of the nuances of cultural difference, Jen's tone is never didactic, but always excellently balanced. In "Birthmates", a 49-year- old divorced man checks into a welfare hotel by mistake and meets his own vulnerability head on in an excruciatingly moving tale of loss and alienation. Again Jen is highly attuned to the cruelties of racism and envy, to systems of care and people who fail to care enough. In "Duncan in China", Duncan travels to Shandong seeking heritage and instead blunders through a society he is not equipped to read. Unable to be either noble or holy, the only thing that moves him are remembered sex scenes from Western cinema. Jen lances stereotypes with a polished wit and occasional forlorn tragedy. Her language is taut and embedded with slang and idiomatic peculiarities that make the voices entirely believable and often hilarious. --Cherry Smyth

 
Used availability for Gish Jen's Who's Irish?


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 
 

Hardback Editions

June 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 1439501904 / 9781439501900 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

May 1999 : USA Hardback
Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 0375406212 / 9780375406218 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

June 2000 : USA Paperback
Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 0375705929 / 9780375705922 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon UK   

June 1999 : UK Paperback
Title: Who's Irish?
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 1862072760 / 9781862072763 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon   

Kindle Editions

August 2012 : USA Kindle edition
Title: Who's Irish?: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): Gish Jen

Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   

 


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