Mona in the Promised Land
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2:00--3:15pm Sun., Dec. 7
Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen
In this rollicking coming-of-age tale, Mona Chang's Chinese immigrant parents move their family to Westchester for its superior schools and majestic landscaping, only to find that their daughter develops a worrisome interest in the religion of her new friends. "Pretty soon Mona's tagged along to so many temple car washes and food drives...that she's been named official mascot of the Temple Youth Group."
Jen's fast-paced novel tracks Mona as she discovers herself and her place in the world: She decides to convert, crosses racial lines by becoming friends with the workers in her parent's pancake house, and falls in love with a boy from the local synagogue who lives in a tepee in his parent's backyard. With a sly eye, Jen mines the battlefields of adolescence and assimilation to produce a novel that is as charming as it is relevant.
Jewish, Chinese, immigrants
American Literature | Jewish Studies
Jen, Gish, "Mona in the Promised Land" (2008). Jewish Studies Sunday Book & Discussion Group. 1.