Gish Jen (2532 words)


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Gish Jen is one of the most well-known contemporary Asian American authors. She has published four popular novels and a collection of short stories. Like Jen herself, the protagonists of her mainly family-centered fiction are of Chinese American descent. Jen’s writing style is humorous, but also contains dark and questioning undercurrents that frequently emerge to cast a shadow over the concluding chapters or paragraphs of her work. Jen’s fiction is best appreciated in the context of Asian immigration, the post-Civil Rights era, feminism and colorblind multiculturalism.

Gish Jen was born in 1955 in Long Island, New York, and raised in Queens, Yonkers and Scarsdale. Her parents were middle-class immigrants from China. …

Citation: Ahokas, Pirjo. "Gish Jen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 August 2011 [, accessed 24 October 2020.]

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