Gish Jen biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Gish Jen

Gish Jen

Gish Jen Biography

Gish Jen (Lillian Jen) was born in Long Island, New York in 1955, a second-generation Chinese-American. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in English and later attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Jen has written several novels, collection of short stories, and a volume of lectures. In addition, her stories have been published in many places including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times, as well as in various anthologies.

Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and an International IMPAC Dublin Book Award, her work was also featured in a PBS American Masters special on the American novel, and is widely taught. Jen was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. She has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and numerous other awards. In 2003, an American Academy of Arts and Letters jury comprised of John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Don DeLillo, and Joyce Carol Oates granted her a five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living award; Jen also delivered the Massey lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University in 2012. Her most recent book, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture and the Interdependent Self is based on those lectures.

She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and children.

Gish Jen's website

This bio was last updated on 09/05/2015. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

A Conversation with Gish Jen about The Love Wife

The Love Wife is your third novel.  How might this book surprise readers of your previous novels, Typical American and Mona in the Promised Land?  What surprised you?
The Love Wife is not about the Chang family, for one thing.  Also this book is, I hate to say more middle-aged, but that's probably the truth.  I've lived through more, and it shows. 

At the same time, what really surprised me about The Love Wife was, paradoxically, how young I felt, writing it.  In my non-writing life, I felt tired and stressed and a shadow of my younger self in most every respect.  In my writing life, though, all of that seemed to fall away:  This novel wrote itself and wrote itself as if it did not realize its author got no sleep and no exercise and could barely remember what year it was.  I could not have been more amazed and grateful.


The novel is told in the different voices of the Wong family.  Why did you decide to write the novel in this form?
The novel came to me this way–as if told by the various Wongs at a very long family therapy ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Gish Jen at BookBrowse
World and Town jacket The Love Wife jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Gish Jen but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Ha Jin

    Ha Jin

    Xuefei Jin, who writes under the pseudonym Ha Jin, was born in 1956 in Liaoning Province in northern China. His father was a military officer. In 1969, at only 14 years of age, Ha Jin joined the People's Liberation Army based... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Love Wife

    Try:
    A Free Life
    by Ha Jin

  • Barbara Kingsolver

    Barbara Kingsolver

    Barbara Kingsolver was born on April 8, 1955. Other than a brief time (1963) spent in a small village in central Congo, she grew up "in the middle of an alfalfa field," in the part of eastern Kentucky that lies ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Love Wife

    Try:
    Prodigal Summer
    by Barbara Kingsolver

We recommend 9 similar authors

View all 9 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.