The Tiger Daughter, Intact

Since the release of Amy Chua’s parenting memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” in 2011, main character Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld, daughter of Chua’s, has always captured the public’s imagination.

Critics have predicted that Chua’s children would grow up “friendless, robotic, mentally ill, and suicidal.”

Is that so? How is Lulu doing now?

Citing Lulu’s summer job boss and college friend, the Harvard magazine summer reporter Zara Zhang unveils the mystery of Lulu’s life in this July article.

Here are excerpts:

Lulu with her

Lulu with her “tiger mother,” Amy Chua (left), and her father, Jed Rubenfeld. Courtesy of Lulu Chua-Rubenfeld.

“It takes only a brief encounter with Lulu herself to realize how wrong they were. Now a rising sophomore at Harvard, she is thriving. A friend described her as a warm, witty, and popular girl who “somehow always gets away with hosting parties in her dorm.” Her boss at her summer job said she is charismatic, intuitive, and “willing to put herself out there.” Both praised her remarkable work ethic—a core value her mother sought to instill.

Most people who have not met Lulu expect her to be rigid and intense, according to Alana Steinberg ’18, a college friend, “but she’s much more of a free spirit than her reputation suggests.” In Battle Hymn, Lulu was portrayed as a rebellious “feral horse” who screamed, kicked, smashed glasses, and disobeyed her mother’s orders. “That’s absolutely Lulu: very independent and strong-willed,” Steinberg added. “Lulu does not conform to norms. She is her own person.”

Zara Zhang is a Harvard rising junior and summer intern at Harvard Magazine. Zara is also an active blogger for China Personified.

Zara Zhang

Zara Zhang

Zara Zhang is a senior at Harvard. You can contact her at zhang08@college.harvard.edu.

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