Writing in the New York Times Book Review, UCI Department of Art faculty member Sandra Tsing Loh discusses two recent books on immigration and identity in contemporary America. Loh’s cover-story review, entitled “Secrets of Success,” is excerpted briefly below:
“Quanyu Huang’s new book, “The Hybrid Tiger: Secrets of the Extraordinary Success of Asian-American Kids,” may sound like yet another flogging for hapless Western parents, but it’s not.
“You can’t blame American mothers for still smarting from Amy Chua’s best-selling 2011 book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” In breathtaking and bold calligraphic strokes, she laid out her argument: American parents overindulge their children, allowing them sleepovers, video games and laughable extracurricular activities like playing Villager Number Six in the school play, as they collect trophies for being themselves in a self-esteem-centered culture. By contrast, Chinese parents strictly limit television, video games and socializing, accept no grades but A’s and insist on several hours a day of violin and piano practice, regardless of their children’s complaints. As a result, Chinese-parented kids play Carnegie Hall at 14, get perfect scores in science and math, and gain early admission to Harvard while their floundering American counterparts wonder what on earth hit them. Continue reading “American success stories”