Joint library appearance set for Chua, Rubenfeld
Published 6:10 pm, Wednesday, March 30, 2011
What's it like to co-parent with "The Tiger Mother"?
How do two best-selling writers juggle their careers, marriage and the rearing of two daughters?
Those questions and more will be on the agenda Sunday, April 3, at the New Canaan Library when Amy Chua, author of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," and her husband, crime novelist Jed Rubenfeld, make a rare joint appearance.
The two writers, who both teach at Yale University in New Haven, had their books appear simultaneously and have done extensive tours and promotion on their own over the past several weeks.
The New Cannan event is one of the few chances to see the married writers together during their current book tours.
Rubenfeld's new novel, "The Death Instinct" (Riverhead Books), is the follow-up to his debut book, "The Interpretation of Murder," which became an international best-seller. The new book examines one of the great unsolved cases in the history of New York City -- the explosion of a 600-pound "terrorist" bomb in front of the J.P. Morgan Bank and the New York Stock Exchange in 1920.
Chua's book set off a pop cultural firestorm earlier this winter with its account of "how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones."
American "helicopter" moms and dads -- and countless bloggers who fall into that category -- took the memoir as a personal affront.
Chua writes about the hard work and discipline that go into creating successful children.
Much of the stereotypical Chinese formula involves the children having virtually no say in their educational and free-time choices.
Chua delves into the conflict and self-doubt that can arise from strict parenting, but the plethora of feature stories and TV reports emphasized the list of "don'ts" with which the writer started her book.
Among the things Chua never allowed her two daughters to do were: attend a sleepover; have a playdate; act in a school play; watch TV; play computer games; and get any grade less than an A.
Although we live in an era in which American parents seem to devote more time to supervising their children than ever, a lot of that supervision involves activities that are on Chua's verboten list. By laying out her philosophy simply and with great verbal elegance, Chua made some op-ed page writers and columnists positively apoplectic.
Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld will speak April 3 at 5 p.m. at the New Canaan Library, 151 Main St. Reservations are required by calling 203-594-5040 or by going online to www.newcanaanlibrary.org.