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by Gish Jen

Download The Love Wife fb2, epub

ISBN: 1400042135
Author: Gish Jen
Language: English
Publisher: Knopf (September 14, 2004)
Pages: 400
Category: United States
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 192
Size Fb2: 1187 kb
Size ePub: 1822 kb
Size Djvu: 1277 kb
Other formats: doc mobi docx rtf


Gish Jen's THE LOVE WIFE aspires to a broader view of personal and societal issues - foreign adoption, career . THE LOVE WIFE ostensibly presents the ultimate multicultural family.

THE LOVE WIFE ostensibly presents the ultimate multicultural family.

Dad says he’s like Narcissus making his own pool, but then doesn’t tell us what that means. In the fullness of time you will get my jokes, he says.

PART I. 1. Lan Arrives. BLONDIE, The day Lan came, you could still say whose family this was-Carnegie’s and mine. Dad says he’s like Narcissus making his own pool, but then doesn’t tell us what that means. In the fullness of time. Maybe it will lift, Mom says. Let’s hope for the best. Maybe it will lift, says Lizzy, imitating her.

Gish Jen. There was simply a ring and-Gabriela! In enormous rhinestone sunglasses. CARNEGIE, A guide to sacred places. I asked her what she was working on in Italy, and that’s what she said. I asked her what she was working on in Italy, and that’s what she said ind the places, and then she had to write sections on their mystical significance. The rituals are hard, she said. Neither can you howl. So rituals there will b. Of course there’s always candles, she said.

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 From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the elusive nature of kinship. Rich in insight, buoyed by humor, The Love Wife is a hugely satisfying work. 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.

Gish Jen's previous books–Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, and Who's Irish . The Love Wife is a witty, sharp-eyed, compassionate look at a patchwork family and the gradual unraveling of the threads that bind them.

The Love Wife is a witty, sharp-eyed, compassionate look at a patchwork family and the gradual unraveling of the threads that bind them.

The Love Wife Jen, Gish Random House (USA) 9781400076512 : From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the . The Love Wife, Jen, Gish. Варианты приобретения. Кол-во: Наличие: Поставка под заказ

The Love Wife Jen, Gish Random House (USA) 9781400076512 : From the massively talented Gish Jen comes a barbed, moving, and stylistically dazzling new novel about the elusive nature of kinship. Кол-во: Наличие: Поставка под заказ. Есть в наличии на складе поставщика. Склад Америка: 3 шт. При оформлении заказа до: 6 сен 2019 Ориентировочная дата поставки: начало октября При условии наличия книги у поставщика.

A Conversation with Gish Jen. Q: The Love Wife is your third novel. Q: Can you tell us about your choice to have Mama Wong suffer from Alzheimer’s?

A Conversation with Gish Jen. How might this book surprise readers of your previous novels, Typical American and Mona in the Promised Land? What surprised you? A: 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. Q: Can you tell us about your choice to have Mama Wong suffer from Alzheimer’s?

Gish Jen. Read online. Read books for free from anywhere and from any device. Listen to books in audio format instead of reading.

From the highly praised author of Mona in the Promised Land and Who’s Irish?–a generous, funny, explosive novel about the new “half-half” American family.Here is Carnegie Wong, second-generation Chinese American warm heart and funny guy. Here is his WASP wife, the delicious “za-za-vavoomy” Blondie. Here are their two adopted Asian daughters, and their half-half bio son. And here is Mama Wong, Carnegie’s no-holds-barred mother, who, eternally opposed to his marriage, has arranged from her grave for a mainland Chinese relation to come look after the kids. Is this woman, as Carnegie claims, a nanny? Or is she, as Blondie fears, something else? What happens as Carnegie and Blondie try to incorporate the ambiguous new arrival into their already complicated lives is touchingly, brilliantly, intricately told.Powerfully evoking the contemporary American family in all its fragility and strength, Gish Jen has given us her most exuberant and accomplished novel.

Comments:

Malakelv
This is my first Gish Jen book and I'm not disappointed. As a twist on the first generation immigrant tale, this one involves a first generation Chinese man who marries an Anglo woman who must endure her Chinese mother-in-law's (Mama Wong) disapproval and disdain, even though the son and daughter-in-law adopted two Asian daughters and then have their own mixed-ethnic child. It's hilarious in spots, laugh out loud funny. And it's always so interesting to read about how different cultures think and act in their own unique ways, and how that can be totally misinterpreted by anyone who isn't familiar with that culture. Am sure enjoying it.
Arith
Books about cultural assimilation and the immigrant experience in America have long been literary staples, with the Asian-American perspective being the most recent blossoming. The best of them, such as Chang Rae-Lee's A GESTURE LIFE, Lan Samantha Chang's HUNGER, Jhumpa Lahiri's THE NAMESAKE, and Le Thi Diem Thuy's THE GANGSTER WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR, are deeply intimate. They maintain a small narrative scope, offering microscopic demonstrations of macroscopic issues while avoiding stereotypes.

Gish Jen's THE LOVE WIFE aspires to a broader view of personal and societal issues - foreign adoption, career mothers, self-identity and self-fulfillment, capitalism and greed, marital fidelity, job (in)security, racial violence, and controlling mothers. Regretably, the result is something of an overreach, a novel disrupted in its last third by forced plot contrivances that overwhelm the book's earlier, more evenly-paced character building. The story's surprise revelation of Mama Wong's machinations from beyond the grave - the novel's central plot element - seems curiously anticlimactic as a consequence.

THE LOVE WIFE ostensibly presents the ultimate multicultural family. Gish Jen gives us the mixed Irish-American/Asian-American marriage of blue-eyed, blond-haired Janie Bailey, nicknamed Blondie by her mother-in-law, and Chinese Carnegie Wong, no doubt superstitiously named by his money-driven mother after the great American industrialist. Into this family come two adopted girls, Wendy (Chinese) and Lizzy (of such uncertain Asian origin she calls herself the soup de jour) and a blond, biological son. Orbiting around them are the emotionally dead Bailey family and the smothering and manipulating Mama Wong, herself a successful businesswoman who has never accepted Carnegie's lack of financial drive nor his choice of blond bride.

At Mama Wong's death, Carnegie learns from her will of a book detailing fifteen or more generations of the family genealogy. It is being held in Hong Kong by a friend of Mama Wong's, and it will be released to Carnegie only if he agrees to bring a distant relative, Lan, to America to be the family nanny. Carnegie does so, only to set in motion a chain of feelings and events that slowly spin out of control with successively worse consequences. Lan insinuates her way into the family through passive-aggressive manipulation of Wendy's and Lizzie's feelings. She alienates Blondie, who feels so threatened by the loss of her adopted children and Carnegie's obvious romantic interests in a "love wife" that she quits her high-powered job and eventually takes even more drastic measures. Events spin ever faster out of control, resulting in beatings, two surprise assaults with a garden pitchfork, a tragic fire, and a heart attack. To paraphrase Tolstoy, this unhappy family is unhappy in its own, culturally unmoored way.

The central characters in THE LOVE WIFE feel surprisingly stereotyped. Carnegie is the impotent Chinese male, emasculated by his mother, a career success in some underwhelming Xerox copy called Document Management Systems who ultimately gets laid off. Blondie is the overachieving, vegan, yoga-practicing, career mother who reminded me of nothing so much as Tea Leoni's hilariously hyperventilated uber-mom in the movie SPANGLISH. Lan is the bootstrapping immigrant climber full of the financial hunger Mama Wong wishes her son would demonstrate; one gets the feeling that Blondie and Lan could have easily lived each other's lives and ended in the same places. Lizzy is the standard rebellious teenager, while Mama Wong is the money-hungry Chinese businesswoman, oppressive mother, and impossible mother-in-law. Friend Gabriela is a goat-owning, New Age flake, Billy is the routine racist lout, and Shang is little more than a psychopathic Chinese yakuza. Oddly, these characters seem to skitter like water bugs around one another rather than making heartfelt connections. They feel strangely disassociated from one another.

Gish Jen's prose and dialogue are affecting, and her portrayal of Chinese cultural tone is wonderfully on target. Lan was born and lived her early years in Suzhou, and Jen taps accurately (if perhaps a bit superficially) into that city's rich and unique cultural tradition. The author uses a multiple-narrator approach in which all the main characters tell parts of the story from their various perspectives. This complicates the story slightly, but it creates a fuller, more kaleidoscopic set of narrative voices, like watching a documentary created from interviews with different family members (a literary CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, perhaps). THE LOVE WIFE offers an interesting take on cultural identity and cross-cultural adoption, but in the end, the novel is outdone by its own stereotyping and pyrotechnic plotting.
Bys
Lots of fun to read. I had a feeling that there would be a surprise in the story. It did not disappoint.
Jark
The Love Wife
I picked this book up thinking it would be a light read. It isn’t.

A bi-racial American family (Chinese-American husband who speaks no Chinese, WASP wife who studied Chinese, two adopted daughters - one ambiguously Asian, one Chinese, and one biological son) is obliged by the husband’s mother’s will to take in a distant relative from China. Lan Lin is lovely, aloof, and emotionally scarred by the Cultural
Revolution. The intrusion of this exotic element into the family fabric has predictably unpredictable consequences.

The book is told from the points of view of each of the five verbal characters. (The son is a pre-verbal toddler whose view is not represented.) This montage of viewpoint is at first disconcerting; I often had to look back to check on who was speaking. Gradually, though, the personalities sort themselves out. As the point of view jumped back and forth, it brought into focus the cultural differences between the wife, her husband, and the interloper, and the contrasting views and insecurities of the two adopted daughters. Families are complicated.

I thought I knew from the first where this book would be headed, but it doesn’t happen the way I imagined. Gish Jen is an accomplished writer, and this is not a light read. It is a close and careful examination of the meaning of family, and of the many different forms of love.

Don’t miss the ending. It’s a fine, ambiguous ending.
Conjulhala
Carnegie Wong doesn't speak Chinese, his mother having raised him to be as American as possible. He and his wife Janie, dubbed Blondie by her Chinese mother-in-law, have three children. Lizzy, a foundling of unknown Asian descent ("soup du jour") is a rebellious teenager. Wendy is 9 and was adopted from China. Bailey is Blondie and Carnegie's infant biological son who is miraculously as blond as his mother. When Carnegie's mother dies, her unofficial will requires that a female relative, Lan, be brought over from China to live with the family. Her presence upsets the blended balance that has heretofore existed in the Wong household. I had two big problems with the book. One is that I did not like Lan, who hits the pet goat with a pail and almost scalds Bailey with too hot soup and bath water. I fully understand that my dislike of her is cultural. Freedom is a foreign concept to her. What she really appreciates is status, and her perception of her role in the family is skewed, partly by her separate living space, intended to provide privacy, and partly by her duties as nanny. Secondly, the book showcases every member of the family, except Bailey, as a first-person narrator, in snippets of varying length. This device annoyed me, requiring me to constantly double-back to double-check who is talking. Plus, each narrator often quotes other family members, adding another layer of confusion. I felt as though I were reading a transcript of a panel discussion or an unnatural dinner conversation.

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