From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the elusive nature of kinship. The Wongs describe themselves as a “half half” family, but the actual fractions are more complicated, given Carnegie’s Chinese heritage, his wife Blondie’s WASP background, and the various ethnic permutations of their adopted and biological children. Into this new American family comes a volatile new member.Her name is Lanlan. She is Carnegie’s Mainland Chinese relative, a tough, surprisingly lovely survivor of the Cultural Revolution, who comes courtesy of Carnegie’s mother’s will. Is Lanlan a very good nanny, a heartless climber, or a posthumous gift from a formidable mother who never stopped wanting her son to marry a nice Chinese girl? Rich in insight, buoyed by humor, The Love Wife is a hugely satisfying work.
|Publisher:||Knopf Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.45(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.37(d)|
About the Author
Gish Jen’s Who’s Irish? and Mona in the Promised Land are available in Vintage paperback.
Date of Birth:August 12, 1955
Place of Birth:New York, New York
Education:B.A. Harvard University, M.F.A., Iowa Writers¿ Workshop
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Break my heart, why don't you? Reading good writing, *really* good writing such as this novel, makes me wonder how I can make myself useful as a writer? The pain in this book, I felt it - it truly hurt to read sometimes the clarity is amazing. It showed me what biatches women can be and that white women are relatively weaker than Asian women.
His mother hated that second generation Chinese-American Carnegie married ¿Blondie¿ instead of a Chinese. In spite of his mother¿s objections, Carnegie and Janie (¿Blondie¿) seem to get on fine and eventually adopt two Asian children (fifteen years old Lizzy and nine years old Wendy). Fifteen months ago Blondie gave birth to their first natural born child a son Bailey........................ Before dying from Alzheimer¿s, mom arranged for the single Lan, a female relative from Mainland China, to join her son¿s family. The mysterious Lan seems to have captured Carnegie¿s attention and shares much with the girls. Janie feels more and more like an outside Blondie with her own family. She turns to her infant son for solace as the other three increasingly turn to Lan....................................... This is an intriguing look at modern race relations within a family that seems like an anecdote for society in general as complexity is a way of life. Carnegie is an intriguing protagonist as he rediscovers his roots, but fears that will make him seem ancient in America. Of interest is how clever Lan is in using the insecurities of the adopted children, the fears of Janie increasingly wondering if she is the outsider, and the fascination of Carnegie to manipulate her hosts. Though rotation of the perspectives enables the audience to better understand the individual, that device also makes it difficult to follow the plot as no center holds the tale together. Still this is a poignant look that intelligently argues that racial issues are changing yet remain local..................................... Harriet Klausner