Authors & Asia: Gish Jen and "The Girl at the Baggage Claim"

Gish Jen

Please note that this program takes place off-site at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005.

The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Examining the East-West Culture Gap is a provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about self and society; and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business. Never have East and West come as close as they are today, yet we are still baffled by one another. Is our mantra “To thine own self be true”? Or do we believe we belong to something larger than ourselves—a family, a religion, a troop—that claims our first allegiance? Gish Jen—drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in cultural psychology—reveals how this difference shapes what we perceive and remember; what we say and do and make—how it shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba. As engaging as it is illuminating, this is a book that stands to profoundly enrich our understanding about ourselves and about our world.


“I loved the book! A deep psychological examination of how place, habits, and identity mix in our world. Tremendous!” —Yo-Yo Ma

“An excellent and engaging read, certain to appeal to readers interested in cross-cultural communication, cognitive science, and the experience of Asian Americans in the United States.” —Rebecca Brody, Library Journal (starred review)

"A fascinating, brilliant book that gripped me from page one. Subtle, erudite, and daring, The Girl at the Baggage Claim is a tour de force by one of the most insightful writers of our time." —Amy Chua, the John M. Duff Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School, and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

“[Jen] articulates the complexities of culture with a novelist’s command of language in this rich exploration of the East-West culture gap.”Publishers Weekly

Related Links

The Washington Post: East-West divide begins with how we see ourselves

The Huffington Post: Gish Jen on Her New Book About East and West, The Girl at the Baggage Claim

About the Author

Gish Jen is the author of four novels, a book of stories, and a previous book of nonfiction, Tiger Writing. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for fiction and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She teaches from time to time in China and otherwise lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bank of America is presenting sponsor of Performing Arts & Culture programs. Generous funding also provided by AARP, Nancy C. Allen, CNOOC-NEXEN, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The Clayton Fund, the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and Mickey Rosenau & Dr. Ellen Gritz. Funding is also provided from Friends of Performing Arts & Culture at Asia Society Texas Center, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming to Houston. This presentation is made in collaboration with Brazos Bookstore.

Presenting Sponsor

Bank of America

Program Sponsors

City of HoustonHouston Arts Alliance

Presenting Partner

Event Details

Tue 04 Apr 2017
7 - 9 p.m.
2421 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005
Free with RSVP.
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