Gish Jen


Tiger Writing:
Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self

This event includes a book signing


March 27, 2013
7:00 PM


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome award-winning author GISH JEN for a discussion of her new book, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self.

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.

"Gish Jen is the Great American Novelist we're always hearing about, and in Tiger Writing she delivers a profound meditation on the divergent roles that storytelling, artmaking, and selfhood take on across the East-West divide. Penetrating, inspired, and, yes, indispensable." —Junot Díaz, Author Of the Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao

Gish Jen
Gish Jen

Gish Jen

Gish Jen is the author of the novels Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife, and World and Town, and Who’s Irish, a book of stories. Her honors include the Lannan Award for Fiction and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Photo Credit: J.D. Sloan 

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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