Who is Irish | Summary

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A short story called “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen is about a 68-year-old Chinese woman living with her family in the US.

The narrator, a Chinese woman, describes her husband's life at their restaurant when he was still alive.

Natalie is the narrator's daughter, and she is married to John Shea, who is born in Ireland. It appears that John and his brothers, who are unemployed, are looked down upon by the narrator.

Bess, John's mother, is sorry that she only had boys, so the narrator invites her to stay at her daughter's house because there are so many girls there. Bess politely declines.

Her granddaughter Sophie, age three, is also not being raised the way she would like. In addition to her dark skin, Sophie appears to be a beautiful Chinese girl.

While Natalie and John place a high value on words to educate Sophie, the narrator places a high value on physical discipline. Sophie's habit of taking off her clothes in the park worries the narrator, who believes that Sophie is a wild child.

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