Explain the story "Who's Irish?" by Gish Jen.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

 “Who’s Irish?” by Gish Jen speaks to the cultural differences in generations particularly in immigrant families.  The story displays the differences in perception and understanding between an elderly mother and her more modern, ambitious daughter.  


The setting is a large urban city in the 1990s.  Most of the story takes place in the park or the home of the daughter.


The narration is first person point of view with the elderly mother as the narrator.  Speaking in chopped English, the mother is eager to communicate the events surrounding her daughter, her granddaughter, Sophie, and her son-in-law.


The crux of the story is the elderly mother [68 years old] who baby sits her granddaughter Sophie.  Her daughter is an executive in a bank, and her husband is between jobs, as usual.  He does get a job as an insurance salesman which does not last long. The husband refuses to babysit his daughter since he is a man.

The mother is none too happy to have to face...

(The entire section contains 585 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team