HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Kim Wong Keltner

Author of Tiger Babies Strike Back


  • What It's Like to Be Raised by Strict Chinese Parents and How to Find Your Own Way in Life Despite their Expectations
  • How to Raise Children with an Emphasis on Spontaneity and Compassion and Why Academic Achievement Should Take a Backseat
  • How I Wrote Three Novels and a Memoir without Losing My Mind and All of My Friends Along with It



Raised in a strict Chinese-American home, Kim Wong Keltner's childhood was guided by the rigid rules of her "Tiger" mother. Her newest book, Tiger Babies Strike Back (Morrow Avon), examines why generations of kids have been made to feel inferior, isolated, suffocated, and humiliated in the dogged pursuit to make their elders look good. In search of answers, Keltner delves into her own childhood, family history, and community traditions to expose the damaging effects of perfectionistic parenting. Keltner, now raising a daughter of her own, describes in hilarious and poignant detail the challenges that women face in a post-Tiger Mom world and how this has positively affected her parenting style. A relevant, unabashed speaker, Keltner is perfect for appearances at schools, universities, parenting associations, and cultural societies.

Keltner first landed on the literary scene with The Dim Sum of All Things (Morrow Avon), a hilarious novel about Lindsey, a third generation San Franciscan of Chinese descent, who tries to deny her affinity for Peking duck and Hello Kitty toys while eschewing her irreverent grandmother's match-making attempts in favor of the "white devils" her family members dislike. The much-anticipated follow up, Buddha Baby (Morrow Avon), follows Lindsey as she embarks on a quest for identity, family secrets, and, of course, true love. Keltner is also the author of I Want Candy (Morrow Avon), a coming-of-age novel about a fourteen-year-old girl whose life revolves around Eggroll Wonderland, the Chinese restaurant where her family works.

In the fourth grade, Keltner won a cutthroat spelling bee which encouraged her aspirations as a writer. Over the years, she honed her ear for dialogue while listening to elderly Chinese ladies dish dirt over endless games of mahjong. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Keltner now lives in Nevada City, CA with her husband and daughter.

Praise for Tiger Babies Strike Back:

"A soul-searching journey into what it was like being raised by a Tiger Mom. This Tiger Baby could never quite measure up; as a mother now, she is determined not to make the same mistakes with her own daughter. Kim Wong Keltner's witty, honest, warm voice takes the reader straight into the heart of a generation of Chinese immigrants. Look for emotional surprises as she discovers how deep her roots are planted even as she fights to make how own way through the motherhood maze."
-- Maryann Bucknum Brinley, author of The 16 Secrets of Happy Parenting

"An inspiring take on mothering -- and daughtering. The book is smart, creative, and thought-provoking."
-- Linda Small, author of Wimpy Parents: How Not to Raise a Brat

"The author writes with compassion, humor, love and anger about her mother's combination of tough love and high expectations...A quirky reflection on the modern immigrant experience and hyphenated ethnicity in America."
-- Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Dim Sum of All Things:

"Wong Keltner's spunky novel about a third-generation Chinese-American in San Francisco delivers a left hook to knee-jerk political correctness and offers a comic, honest take on what it feels like to be part of two cultures."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Bridget Jones meets The Joy Luck Club in this multicultural twist on the single-gal-in-the-city subgenre of fiction."
-- Booklist

"A smart and sassy novel about growing up Chinese American in San Francisco."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Full of feisty humor. . . . Smart and sassy, Dim Sum is a fictional feast."
-- USA Today

"A sort of Asian American Sex and the City ...like meeting someone who voices thoughts or experiences that you presumed were wholly yours...cynically humorous and genuinely touching...Keltner's wry sense of humor leaps off every page."
-- generationrice

"One part Shopaholic, one part Bridget Jones, and all the rest uniquely its own."
-- Linda Lee Small and Norine Dworkin, authors of You Know He's a Keeper/You Know He's a Loser

"In her funny, touching novel, Kim Wong Keltner has created a sumptuous Chinese banquet. A feast of perfectly blended flavors--hot, spicy, sweet and sour. The minute you've finished, you'll want to devour it all over again!"
-- Carole Matthews, author of Bare Necessity

"Peppered with trendy designer names and featuring a good-guy romantic interest, this urban coming-of-age tale is satisfying on many levels."
-- Library Journal

Praise for I Want Candy:

"It's awesome to find such deep truth that makes you laugh this hard."
-- Beth Lisick, author of Everybody Into the Pool