Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, By Amy Chua


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We have, I suspect. got Amy Chua wrong. Even the Tiger Mother might have mistaken her true talents, as she seems happy to defend the instruction-manual aspects of her memoir of high-pressure "Chinese parenting".

Above all, this is a blissfully, painfully funny report from the front line of aspirational migrant culture, self-deprecating and riven with irony as she parks insecurities onto her daughters, and flays herself for doing so.

A blueprint for breeding neurotic billionaires? Unlikely, as most of the drama stems from Sophia's progress on the piano and Lulu's on the violin. So just enjoy this Far East Philip Larkin, sticking it to our feelgood culture: "The truth is I'm not good at enjoying life. It's not one of my strengths."