Gish Jen's first novel, Typical American, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award -- earning Jen a place among such established Asian-American writers as Amy Tan and Chang-rae Lee. Her latest novel, The Love Wife, is "her most ambitious and emotionally ample work yet," according to Times critic Michiko Kakutani.
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Date of Birth:
August 12, 1955
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A. Harvard University, M.F.A., Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Strauss Living Award, American Academy of Arts & Letters; Lannan Award for Fiction
|In our exclusive interview, we asked Jen if she has any special writing rituals. "Before I had children, I used to garden to get into the right frame of mind; also I took a lot of creative naps," she reflects. "Now I drop my kids off at school, down my double cappuccino, and start typing."|
|Early Inspirations||Favorite Writers and Reads|
|Little Women (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)|
Louisa May Alcott
"Probably I was most influenced by Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, though Heidi was a close second," Jen reveals in our interview when asked about her early literary inspirations. "I wanted to refuse rich Teddy and marry Professor Baer while drinking goat’s milk in the mountains."
|The Song of the Lark|
We asked Jen to tell us more about her favorite books. She selected Willa Cather's The Song of the Lark, explaining: "Talk about passion. Thea chooses art over love! I remain grateful for Cather’s courage, and not a little amazed." Read our interview to learn more about Jen's favorite writers and reads, including: