Discussion of Amy Chua’s approach to mothering, as she describes it in Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother continues unabated.
In today’s NYT, Janet Maslin, who actually read the entire book (rather than just the WSJ except, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“) comes to an unexpected conclusion,
In truth, Ms. Chua’s memoir is about one little narcissist’s book-length search for happiness. And for all its quotable outbursts from Mama Grisly (the nickname was inevitable), it will gratify the same people who made a hit out of the granola-hearted Eat, Pray, Love.
According to Maslin, the two share an obsessive fascination with self. She also points out that, by the end of her book, the Tiger Mom has softened,
But Ms. Chua’s story has been shaped according to a familiar narrative arc, the one that ensures that her comeuppance will occur, that her children will prove wiser than she and [she will] fess up to shortcomings (“the truth is I’m not good at enjoying life”) and smell the roses at the end of the book.
The Today Show can’t get enough of her; they’re planning a second appearance, and are gathering questions for her on the site right now.
The book appears at #5 on the 1/30/11 NYT Nonfiction list, after just five days on sale (the list reflects sales through 1/15).
If you’ve been on the fence about buying more, it’s time to get off. This one won’t end soon.
Penguin Audio; UNABR; 6 Hours; 5 CDs; ISBN 9780142429105; $29.95