Tracy's Reviews > Who's Irish?: Stories

Who's Irish? by Gish Jen
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** spoiler alert ** As it turns out, the first story in the book was the best, and the were too dry and boring. I skipped a few of the stories after I read a few pages of them because it was too hard to imagine caring as the story went on. The first one, called "Who's Irish?" is told in first person broken-English by the Chinese mother of a Chinese-American daughter, with whom she's living. The mother really disagrees with her daughter's methods of discipline for her Chinese-Irish-American granddaughter. The story has a really sweet ending with the Chinese mother moving in with her daughter's Irish Mother-in-Law. Then there are two separate stories about the same family, the first about the narrator Callie's malachite beads which comfort her when her parents fight, and then the second about Callie's family buying and operating a pancake house in order to one daughter pay for Callie and her sister Mona's college careers. Those two stories weren't too bad, readable but not hugely interesting. Then there's one about a woman named Addie Wing who's hugely pregnant and who's having a baby shower with her dysfunctional family and set of ex-Hippie friends. I didn't find any of the rest of the stories funny the way I did the first one.

I would have liked to read a whole book about the characters from the title story "Who's Irish?" or even the stories with the Chang (Callie, Mona) family if there were more depth to the characters.
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Karen ...I think you can read a whole book about these characters. See Mona in the Promised Land.


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