Books: Tiger Ladies


by Amy Tan

Putnam; 288 pages; $18.95

Growing up ethnic is surely the liveliest theme to appear in the American novel since the closing of the frontier (growing up alienated and getting a divorce are the dreariest). One cheerful result is that Wasps, to the disgust of Nathan Zuckerman's relatives, now know about Jewish families, shnorrers, yentas and all, and that Catholics are knowledgeable about those little ethnicities that Presbyterians possess but do not like to admit to. Northerners understand Southerners, at least on paper, and whites even know something of how life ferments, black among black.


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