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Gish Jen: The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap

Gish Jen, the acclaimed novelist, will talk about her new book of non-fiction, The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap.It looks at the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about self and society and how this “shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba.” Her 2013 non-fiction book, Tiger Writing: Art, Culture, and the Interdependent Self, based on the Massey Lectures Jen delivered at Harvard in 2012, also delves into East-West differences, and in particular how they affect art and literature. The novels Typical American,Who Is Irish?, The Love Wife and Mona in the Promised Land and World and Town were widely praised for their often hilarious but also profound and warm descriptions of Chinese-American families adjusting to suburban life, and the racial and religious divides they navigate. A contributor to The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, Jen’s work has been included in The Best American Short Stories of 1988, 1995 and 2013, as well as The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award and an International IMPAC Dublin Book Award, 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. Tuesday, March 28