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book cover of Who\'s Irish?

Who's Irish?

(1999)
A collection of stories by

 
 
his is a cracker collection of astutely funny stories by Chinese-American writer Gish Jen. In the title story, Jen gets into the opinionated head of a 68-year- old Chinese-American who strives to save her 3-year-old granddaughter, Sophie from being taken over by her wild Irish side. "My daughter tell me I should not say Irish this, Irish that", but she can't understand why none of the four sons in her son-in-law's family work. "I am work hard my whole life, and fierce besides." Resenting words like "supportive" and "creative" which aren't used in China, the gran's disciplining methods are met with shocked disapproval. Wryly observant of the nuances of cultural difference, Jen's tone is never didactic, but always excellently balanced. In "Birthmates", a 49-year- old divorced man checks into a welfare hotel by mistake and meets his own vulnerability head on in an excruciatingly moving tale of loss and alienation. Again Jen is highly attuned to the cruelties of racism and envy, to systems of care and people who fail to care enough. In "Duncan in China", Duncan travels to Shandong seeking heritage and instead blunders through a society he is not equipped to read. Unable to be either noble or holy, the only thing that moves him are remembered sex scenes from Western cinema. Jen lances stereotypes with a polished wit and occasional forlorn tragedy. Her language is taut and embedded with slang and idiomatic peculiarities that make the voices entirely believable and often hilarious. --Cherry Smyth

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Used availability for Gish Jen's Who's Irish?

Hardback Editions

June 2008 : USA Library Binding
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Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 1-4395-0190-4 / 978-1-4395-0190-0 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 0-375-40621-2 / 978-0-375-40621-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

June 2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: Who's Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 0-375-70592-9 / 978-0-375-70592-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Who'S Irish?: Stories
Author(s): Gish Jen
ISBN: 1-86207-276-0 / 978-1-86207-276-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Who's Irish? (Electric Literature's Recommended Reading Book 278)
Author(s): Gish Jen, Celeste Ng
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Who's Irish?: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): Gish Jen
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA