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Gish Jen biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Gish Jen

Gish Jen

Gish Jen Biography

Gish Jen has published short work in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals, anthologies and textbooks. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award, her work was featured in a PBS American Masters' special on the American novel and is widely taught.

Jen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and a Mildred and Harold Strauss Living; she has also delivered the William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University. The Resisters is her eighth book.

Gish Jen's website

This bio was last updated on 01/17/2020. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

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Interview

Gish Jen discusses how her own bi-racial and adopted family inspired her to write about a similarly diverse 'new American family' in 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 session, only without the therapist, and with license, it seems, to ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Gish Jen at BookBrowse
Thank You, Mr. Nixon jacket The Resisters jacket World and Town jacket The Love Wife jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes 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 read-alikes

  • Megan Angelo

    Megan Angelo

    Megan Angelo grew up in Quakertown, Pennsylvania and graduated from Villanova University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Glamour and Elle, among other publications. She lives in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Resisters

    Try:
    Followers
    by Megan Angelo

  • Nancy Au

    Nancy Au

    Nancy Au is a genderqueer, bisexual artist and teacher living in Oakland, California. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in anthropology, and has an MFA from San Francisco State University where she teaches ... (more)

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