Library Corner

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

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This is the story of a Chinese mother caught between her own, (self-defined as Chinese) and the American culture, specifically in parenting children. The story itself I found to be mediocre in that nothing ‘actually happens’. Maybe this is why it is quite charming. A book which any parent will be able to identify with on some level. I particularly liked the humor that comes from the rage Amy Chau feels when confronted with what she sees as defiance and rebellion in her children, and specifically her youngest daughter Lulu. The obsession with being the best and instilling this into children as ‘the Chinese way’ kept me amused and interested. As an Asian Brit. Myself, I could relate to some of this pressure that Amy insisted was essential to bringing up obedient, successful children. However, I still had moments of horror and disbelief: “If the next times not perfect, I’m going to take all your stuffed toys and burn them!”- a tad much for a five year old playing the piano I thought. In the absence of a ‘conclusion’ in terms of Western vs. Eastern parenting styles, it became clear to me that difference need not always be unequal-An enjoyable read.

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Written by Um Yousef

1 November 2011 at 12:05 pm

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