It is really tough to review Gish Jen’s World and Town. The novel is, on the one hand, drawn through an interesting narrative focalizer who often takes on the “wordspeak” of the characters that the narrator observes the representational terrain through. So when the narrative is concentrating on the Cambodian American teenager Sophy, we have the narrator constantly employing words such as like and whatever. Typical teenspeak, we might say. On the other hand, the novel has an exceedingly complex and varied topography in terms of its character webs, where Hattie Kong, one of the ostensible protagonists, is looking after a new family that has moved to the area, a small town in the New England area known as Riverlake (somewhat reminiscent of the continuing movement of ethnic minority populations to such towns as Lowell, MA).