Gish Jen On 'Tiger Writing'

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Waves on a Chinese scroll. (hynkle/Flickr)
Waves on a Chinese scroll. (hynkle/Flickr)

Gish Jen is the prize-winning Cambridge-based author of four novels including "Typical American" and "Mona in the Promised Land."

As her name implies, Jen embodies the fluidity of a modern East-West identity. Her Chinese ancestry and American life have made their way into her writing, but the impact the two cultures have had on the sheer act of writing itself — that perhaps is not so clear. "Narrative" means different things in East and West. It takes different shapes and has different purposes. That tension plays out rather beautifully in Jen's own life, as "a struggle between Emerson and Confucious," as she puts it.


Gish Jen, a writer, her most recent book is "Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self."


Jen discusses "Tiger Writing" on Wednesday, March 27, at the Harvard Book Store


This segment aired on March 25, 2013.


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