Loading Events

Register for free

Purchase Thank You, Mr. Nixon At Your Local Bookstore

MOCA Spotlight Series returns on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 5:00 P.M. EST. This intimate virtual conversation series highlights the timely and distinctive narrative of a Chinese American icon and friend of MOCA. Through this conversation, MOCA hopes to shed light on the distinctive yet universal American journeys of these luminaries, touching upon key moments of personal trial and stratospheric success, all within a casual, inviting, and inspiring format.

MOCA Spotlight Series is honored to present our next featured speaker, the award-winning author Gish Jen and her new book, Thank You, Mr. Nixon.

Beginning with a cheery letter penned by a Chinese girl in heaven to “poor Mr. Nixon” in hell, Jen embarks on a fictional journey through U.S.-China relations, capturing the excitement of a world on the brink of tectonic change.

Opal Chen reunites with her Chinese sisters after forty years; newly cosmopolitan Lulu Koo wonders why Americans “like to walk around in the woods with the mosquitoes”; Hong Kong parents go to extreme lengths to reestablish contact with their “number-one daughter” in New York; and Betty Koo, brought up on “no politics, just make money,” finds she must reassess her mother’s philosophy.

With their profound compassion and equally profound humor, these eleven linked stories trace the intimate ways in which humans make and are made by history, capturing an extraordinary era in an extraordinary way. Delightful, provocative, and powerful, Thank You, Mr. Nixon furnishes yet more proof of Jen’s eminent place among American storytellers.


“Detective Dog” in the New Yorkerread or listen now

Starred Reviews in Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly

Parnassus Books First Edition Book Club February 2022 pick

An Oprah Daily, Los Angeles Times, Esquire, and LitHub “Most Anticipated Book”

“Jen distills five decades of cultural collision, confusion, and collaboration between the U.S. and China into eleven gorgeously comedic and heartbreaking stories . . . For all the pain and poignancy, Jen is wryly hilarious, her plots spring-loaded, her dialogue ricocheting and spiked with contrasts in languages and customs . . ..” – Starred Review, Booklist

“Masterly…With wry humor, pathos, and punchy dialogue, Jen’s uncanny stories easily standup to her hefty themes. This is a stellar addition to Jen’s prolific body of work.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“Political and economic relations between China and the US are major news, but Jen takes it to the micro level in her vibrant short stories about character who are varying degrees of Chinese and American… Jen’s crisp prose, wonderful eye for detail, and wry humor make them a joy to read, and there is wisdom here, too.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“It is hard to do justice to this wonderful collection of intricately inked stories.” – Ha Jin

“[This is] an art beyond art. It is life itself.” – Cynthia Ozick

Support your local bookstore by pre-ordering Thank You, Mr. Nixon, available on January 25.

Jen has a remarkable story to tell and we cannot wait to share it with you. We look forward to your participation, and to sharing this and many more exemplary stories of the Chinese in America.

About Gish Jen

Gish Jen’s much-anticipated collection of stories, THANK YOU, MR. NIXON, follows close on the heels of her award-winning novel, THE RESISTERS. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute and the Guggenheim Foundation as well as of a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction and of a Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her short work has appeared in the New Yorker and other magazines and has been included in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century. She delivered the William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies at Harvard University, where she is currently a visiting professor.

MOCA has not skipped a beat since its temporary closure in March 2020. We’ve been creating new digital content through multiple platforms, always free of charge—because history matters. We are facing tremendous financial losses due to COVID-19. We hope you’ll consider making a gift to become part of a continuing lifeline for MOCA. No amount is too little and we greatly appreciate your generosity. Your contribution helps sustain our beloved institution and supports the creation of new, online programming that will bring comfort and inspiration to more communities.


January 25, 2022
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This program is brought to you by MOCA friends and partners, including Bloomberg Philanthropies.

This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.