The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 13, 2004

Gish Jen To Read From Latest Hit Novel On WSUI Oct. 26

Fiction writer Gish Jen, a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, will return to Iowa to read from "The Love Wife," her latest bestseller, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

Critic Valerie Ryan wrote, "The realities of mixed-heritage families are explored in 'The Love Wife': those serio-comic moments that all families run into, but that are particularly difficult when its members are of completely different backgrounds. In this case, the non-American heritage is Chinese and the practitioner is an old hand. Gish Jen wrote 'Mona in the Promised Land,' 'Who's Irish?' and 'Typical American,' all rich and telling contributions to immigrant literature. 'The Love Wife' combines humor, pathos, a big surprise at the end, and dead-on dialogue between children and parents to keep the reader engaged."

Maxine Hong Kingston wrote, "What a truly satisfying read 'The Love Wife' is. As I got to know the Wongs -- a family like more and more American families -- I loved each one of them. Hearing their multi-lingual voices and participating in their delights and sadnesses, their fun and troubles, I felt my own understanding and kindness grow. A wonderful book."

A review in People Magazine proclaimed, "Vibrant, multilayered . . . wise and compassionate, 'The Love Wife' unflinchingly probes the ties that bind -- and separate -- people, races and nations."

A Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times called the book Jen's "most ambitious and emotionally ample work yet."

The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Jen grew up in the predominantly Jewish community of Scarsdale, NY, and she attended Harvard University before coming to the Iowa Writers' Workshop. A story from her collection "Who's Irish" was anthologized in "Best American Short Stories of the Century."

The Writers' Workshop is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,