Book Discussion: "Thank You, Mr. Nixon"
- by Gish Jen
HOSTED BY: Mike Bank ’54 & Adrianne Fine Bank ’54
WHEN: Monday, May 22, 7:30 p.m. PT
The program will start at 7:30 p.m., but attendees are welcome and encouraged to log on early and chat with fellow Obies.
This virtual meeting gives all residents a chance to participate from home. We look forward to gathering with you!
FEATURING: Thank You, Mr. Nixon
SUMMARY by BookBrowse:
The acclaimed, award-winning author of The Resisters takes measure of the fifty years since the opening of China and its unexpected effects on the lives of ordinary people. It is a unique book that only Jen could write—a story collection accruing the power of a novel as it proceeds—a work that Cynthia Ozick has called “an art beyond art. It is life itself.
Beginning with a cheery letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Gish Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations, capturing the excitement of a world on the brink of tectonic change.
Opal Chen reunites with her Chinese sisters after forty years; newly cosmopolitan Lulu Koo wonders why Americans “like to walk around in the woods with the mosquitoes”; Hong Kong parents go to extreme lengths to reestablish contact with their “number-one daughter” in New York; and Betty Koo, brought up on “no politics, just make money,” finds she must reassess her mother’s philosophy.
With their profound compassion and equally profound humor, these eleven linked stories trace the intimate ways in which humans make and are made by history, capturing an extraordinary era in an extraordinary way. Delightful, provocative, and powerful, Thank You, Mr. Nixon furnishes yet more proof of Gish Jen’s eminent place among American storytellers.
ADDITIONAL MEDIA REVIEWS:
Marvelous… On the surface her storytelling seems simple and direct, but the closer you look the more layered and complex it becomes. Through characters distracted by the superficial colors of their lives, Jen invites her readers to consider profound questions about history, ancestry and identity ... In all her work, Jen locates the tensions between inherited and lived cultures.
—The New York Times
A collection to treasure. [Jen] creates a panoramic universe of deftly sketched tales both comic and tragic. Her prose sparkles with clarity and moves with deceptive simplicity toward profound conclusions.
—The Boston Globe
A jewel box of creativity and a joy to uncover ... Across eleven synergistic stories about interconnected families, Jen creates a sort of episodic epic spanning fifty years ... These stories offer valuable insight into our world, which feels increasingly divided in countless ways. Surely everyone—us and them, whoever they are—would benefit if together we read what Jen has to say.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
To join the conversation and receive the Zoom link, you MUST register in advance. Once registered, keep an eye on your email for registration confirmation and event link.