Happenings Lifestyle Reader Contributed

Acclaimed Writer Gish Jen to Visit West Hartford’s Town Hall

Gish Jen. Courtesy photo (Venezia, 21-05-2009 JEN Gish, writer © BASSO CANNARSA)

A West Hartford Public Library event that was originally scheduled for 2020 will take place on April 6, 2022.


The West Hartford Public Library will host acclaimed author Gish Jen at West Hartford’s Town Hall on April 6, at 7 p.m. for this year’s West Hartford READS! author event.

Jen’s body of work includes five novels: Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife, World and Town and The Resisters – a dystopian novel released in February 2020 about baseball, class warfare, and a sentient internet. She has also written two short story collections, Who’s Irish? and Thank You, Mr. Nixon. Published earlier this month, Thank You, Mr. Nixon, contains eleven linked stories that explore the impact of U.S.-China relations on the lives of ordinary people.

Jen has published short work in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and dozens of other periodicals, anthologies and textbooks. 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.

The Resisters has been called “A Stone-Cold Masterpiece” by writer Ann Patchett and in Thank You, Mr. Nixon “Jen distills five decades of cultural collision, confusion, and collaboration between the U.S. and China into eleven gorgeously comedic and heartbreaking stories” (Booklist).

West Hartford Public Library has a long history of hosting acclaimed authors, including Jonathan Franzen, Amy Bloom, Ralph Nader, Wally Lamb, Sue Miller, David Rhodes, Anne Fadiman, and Elizabeth Berg. Jen will be the sixth author to participate in West Hartford READS!, a town-wide initiative encouraging everyone to read the works of a notable author. Previous authors include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Anna Quindlen, Luis Alberto Urrea, Billy Collins, and Richard Russo.

West Hartford Public Library will host a series of events for this year’s West Hartford READS!, including four book discussions in March led by members of the community. West Hartford READS! events are made possible by the Thomas F. Kilfoil Memorial Bequest, West Hartford Public Library Foundation.

Free parking for the event will be available in the Town Hall surface lot.

More information is available on the West Hartford Public Library website.

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