Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.

Gish Jen

Events: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap

Book: The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap

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Never have East and West come as close as they are today, yet we are still baffled by one another. Drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in cultural psychology, Gish Jen reveals how the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society shape 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, The Girl at the Baggage Claim stands to profoundly enrich our understanding of ourselves and of our world.

The author of six previous books, Gish Jen has published short work in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.  Nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, her work was featured in a PBS American Masters’ special on the American novel, and is widely taught.

Jen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and numerous other awards.  An American Academy of Arts and Letters jury comprised of John Updike, Cynthia Ozick, Don DeLillo, and Joyce Carol Oates granted her a five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living award; Jen delivered the William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University in 2012.