Kenji's Reviews > Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
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's review
Feb 01, 2011

it was ok

I'm reading this book hidden under a brown bag cover with a Power to the People fist drawn on it. I hated the WSJ essay, and even though in subsequent interviews Chua has stated that she was not happy with the way it did not include any context from the book, there's still plenty to be critical of.

All I know is that the WSJ essay got her book lots of press, and she certainly isn't complaining about the book sales.

I'm about 75% through -- it's a very quick read -- and so far, I'm not that impressed from a literary standpoint. There's an undercurrent of self-mocking in the text, but it's not very well done, not believable. It's almost as if she added it on as a fuzzy layer in the next to last round of editing so that her "tiger mom" narrative wouldn't be so completely shocking. Few people can do self-mocking well. Actually, the only one I can think of right now is David Sedaris.

I'm also realizing that it's hard for me to like a middle-upper-class memoir that has very little awareness of its class privilege, much less one that claims to speak for a huge group of people like "Chinese" or "Chinese moms." Sure, Chua's parents started off working-class, but now that she's comfortable, somehow she feels she can generalize.

More later after I finish the book.
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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Looking forward to reading the rest of your review!

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