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User Review  - Kirkus

``American means being whatever you want,'' the intensely bright and high-spirited protagonist of Jen's second novel (after Typical American, 1991) declares to her mother early in the narrative, and ... Read full review

Mona in the promised land

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Helen and Ralph Chang of Typical American fame (LJ 2/15/91) have moved up the American dream ladder as owners of a thriving pancake house and, in 1968, when younger daughter Mona enters high school ... Read full review

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Gish Jen was suppose to be the next Amy Tan - not quite. This book is boring, tiresome beyond words (I mean who cares about the rants/feelings of some teen-age girl?). I'm Jewish and thought the book was childish and an embarrassment all the way around - how did it get published is what I want to know. The people are shallow, her conversion is a joke, and the fact that the author has only some hazy ideas about Jews and Judaism makes me wonder how much she knows about Chinese anything. As the American born husband of a Hispanicfriend says when asked if he knows Spanish, "grand taco." 

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Kirkus - 1