Controversial 'Tiger Mom' author reads to Seattle crowd

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 11:57 PM

SEATTLE -- It was standing room only at the Elliott Bay Book Company Friday night, where a controversial author known as the "Tiger Mom" made an appearance.

Her book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," sparked an international debate on "superior" parenting.

"I really believe there are many ways of being a good parent," Amy Chua told her audience.

Chua's book has garnered an intense and critical reaction, and is the subject of the "Time" magazine cover this week. It is Chua's personal memoir of raising her kids "the Chinese way" - strict, stern and unrelenting.

"With my first daughter, things went really smoothly, but then my second daughter came along, Lulu, who is very much like me in personality, real fireball from the very beginning and I basically got my comeuppance," Chua said.

Chua read a passage from her book, where she scolds her youngest daughter.

"You are completely ordinary. There is nothing more typical, more predictable, more common and low than an American teenager that won't try things," read Chua.

It's a very politically incorrect account of how she banned sleepovers and play dates, forced her daughters to play piano and violin and never allowed anything less than an "A" at school.

"I'm sure she's a fine person, but our philosophies are quite different, so I'm fascinated," says Liz Powell, a mother in the audience.

"It comes off as representing an entire population of Chinese moms," says Hsiao-Ching Chou, who is a Chinese-American mom raising two kids. She considers herself "Tiger mom light."

But by the end of the book, Chua learns a lesson.

"I realized at that moment that something had just gone deeply wrong. That I was about to lose my daughter that she seemed to hate me," she read.

She learned what may work with one child, doesn't work for all.

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