Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:30 PM — PLEASE BE PROMPT!
As a courtesy to us, please RSVP:
This is the second in a monthly recurring series that focuses on books that have to do with Asians.
This event, like all our events, is free for members and non-members alike — BUT please buy at least one drink to support our venue.
The book we will be discussing is Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua.
You can get it from your local bookstore or from Amazon:
Here is a synopsis:
From Publishers Weekly
Chua imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child’s phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values–and the parents don’t have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale. Sophia, the eldest, was dutiful and diligent, leapfrogging over her peers in academics and as a Suzuki piano student; Lulu was also gifted, but defiant, who excelled at the violin but eventually balked at her mother’s pushing. Chua’s efforts “not to raise a soft, entitled child” will strike American readers as a little scary–removing her children from school for extra practice, public shaming and insults, equating Western parenting with failure–but the results, she claims somewhat glibly in this frank, unapologetic report card, “were hard to quarrel with.”
Chua’s stated intent is to present the differences between Western and Chinese parenting styles by sharing experiences with her own children (now teenagers). As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is poised to contrast the two disparate styles, even as she points out that being a “Chinese Mother” can cross ethnic lines: it is more a state of mind than a genetic trait. Yet this is a deeply personal story about her two daughters and how their lives are shaped by such demands as Chua’s relentless insistence on straight A’s and daily hours of mandatory music practice, even while vacationing with grandparents. Readers may be stunned by Chua’s explanations of her hard-line style, and her meant-to-be humorous depictions of screaming matches intended to force greatness from her girls. She insists that Western children are no happier than Chinese ones, and that her daughters are the envy of neighbors and friends, because of their poise and musical, athletic, and academic accomplishments. Ironically, this may be read as a cautionary tale that asks just what price should be paid for achievement.
Hope to see you there!
Stone Creek (in the back room)
140 East 27th Street
New York, NY 10010
Take the 6 to 28th.