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Gabriele Annan: Gish Jen’s Jokes

6 January 2000
Who's Irish 
by Gish Jen.
Granta, 209 pp., £9.99, July 1999, 1 86207 276 0
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... Ever since her first novel Typical American appeared in 1991, the Chinese American writer Gish Jen has been acclaimed as the new Amy Tan. Amy Tan herself acclaims her on the cover of Mona in the Promised Land (1996), Jen’s second novel; and again on this collection of short stories ...

Some Kind of Remedy

Gabriele Annan: Jhumpa Lahiri

20 July 2000
Interpreter of Maladies 
by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Flamingo, 198 pp., £6.99, June 2000, 0 00 655179 3
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... and the PEN/Hemingway award. Praise from Amy Tan is quoted on the cover, as it was on the cover of Gish Jen’s Who’s lrish? Tan and Jen both write about first and second-generation Chinese Americans, and are upbeat on the whole, sometimes relentlessly so. With a few exceptions Lahiri’s characters are Indians in ...

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