Gish Jen

Lulu in Exile

Gish Jen: Lulu in Exile
Gish Jen

As you listen, think about mothers and mothers-in-law, and sons and brothers and lovers, and about how history places quiet pressure on all. 

Artist’s Note

“‘Lulu in Exile’ is a short, funny piece from my upcoming story collection, Thank You, Mr. Nixon. I originally wrote it as a bit of a lark for the Fashions of the Times section of the New York Times, and have been surprised myself to see how its wily mother and fashionista prospective daughter-in-law have held up over the years. Set just before the Handover of Hong Kong back to Mainland China, its historical moment has also, if anything, gained resonance over time. All in all, it’s a great example of a piece of writing proving much smarter than its writer, and the power of art to reveal things, not only to the world but to its maker.”

About the Artist

Gish Jen, a member of the Academy and of the Commission on the Arts, is a novelist and short story writer.

Gish Jen

Academy Member
Commission Member

Additional Notes

Excerpt from THANK YOU, MR. NIXON by Gish Jen. Copyright © 2022 by Gish Jen. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Commission on the Arts

The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.