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Tiger Babies Strike Back: How I Was Raised by a Tiger Mom but Could Not Be Turned to the Dark Side Paperback – April 30, 2013
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“An inspiring take on mothering -- and daughtering. The book is smart, creative, and thought-provoking.” (Linda Small, author of Wimpy Parents: How Not to Raise a Brat)
“A sort of Asian American Sex in the City...like meeting someone who voices thoughts or experiences that you presumed were wholly yours...cynically humorous and genuinely touching...Keltner’s wry sens of humor leaps off every page.” (generationrice)
“Full of feisty humor. . . . Smart and sassy.” (USA Today)
It’s awesome to find such deep truth that makes you laugh this hard. (Beth Lisick, author of Everybody Into the Pool)
Top Customer Reviews
I do feel sorry for the author's unhappy childhood, which she presents as an example of the costs of the "tiger parenting" promoted by Amy Chua in her controversial Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Keltner's mother had high expectations and wasn't very affectionate. Keltner also participated in various extracurricular activities, like piano lessons and Chinese school.
I couldn't help feeling that this was a much lesser version of tiger parenting, though. One of the most striking things about Chua's parenting style was the results that it accomplished: she pushed her children to the point of performing at Carnegie Hall as teenagers, and she did this in part by attending all of their music lessons along with them, taking notes and then guiding their intensive home practice sessions as well. I suspect that this method of developing prodigies is a large part of the reason why people were so interested in her book: both the methods and the results are extremely dramatic.Read more ›
It is refreshing to read an honest and authentic voice that is unafraid to shine a light on the places culture and convention often ignore. Her conversational tone and ease with insightful anecdotes makes for a delightful and entertaining read.
While her struggle with leaving her hometown of San Francisco struck a very personal cord with me, I was especially taken with her "battle hymn" of those who opt for experience over quantified results, unconditionally expressed love over stoicism, and cloud-watching over needlessly packed schedules.
In all, this is a clever response to the Tiger Mom movement in both structure and content. The ultimate way for a child pushed to conform and produce the results someone else desires is to tell her own, very personal, story. I must say, though, that while Wong Keltner may still be stinging from her experiences as a Tiger Baby, her Tiger Mom must have done something right to help put such an interesting, compassionate, and creative soul out into the world.
I agree with the other reviewers that her writing style is very blog-ish, which I did find amusing and clever in many places. But I would have enjoyed the memoir more if there were less commentary. And frankly at times, I think her commentary is off-base, e.g. when she implies that specific Asian-Americans committed suicide because they were tiger-parented. Depression is a serious mental illness with multifactorial etiology. Without knowing how the actual people mentioned were parented, how can she assume that? Should every parent blame themselves and only themselves, if their child is severely depressed?
Also, I didn't like how she would often refer to her Caucasian husband as "the albino". It seemed to be strange name calling (meant to be funny?). But didn't the kids at her kid's school also think it funny when the Chinese railroad worker died?
I didn't love it, but the book was worth reading, for me at least. I give kudos to Keltner for opening up her wounds, sharing her vulnerable childhood & adult stories with the public; I would never be so bold. And also, I think her mother must be pretty good after all, perhaps not so rigid, to have blessed the book (per the acknowledgements). Without exaggeration, my mother would have disowned me and cried for weeks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great look into what it's like to be raised by a tiger mom! The author survived and became an even better parent who had great empathy for her child. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Prettypenny77
If like me Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother filled you with cold rage and sadness for the two daughters, this book will fill you with warmth and laughter as a mother raises her... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Calum
The book immediately drew me in, and held me captive until the last pages. I could relate to the author's descriptions of her relatives, of people in San Francisco, and of her... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tony Talarico
The writing was horrible, she contradicted herself, it was rambling. It was like an angry, stream-of-consciousness email that nobody proofread.Published on March 25, 2014 by Theresa
This the good book to read to know how the opposite of tiger mom is and how they raise their kids.Published on January 22, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Totally agree with her sentiments & thoughts but she expressed them with such humor and poignancy. I laughed and was enlightened at the same time. Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by SC
I got this book because I thought it would be an intellectual counterpoint to Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It simply wasn't. It was a big whine-fest. Save your time. Read morePublished on October 10, 2013 by baberighteous
I found this book boring. Attempts at being amusing was not amusing to me. There was nothing new in it for me. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by V. Gee