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LETTERS

Defining terms

September 20, 2008

IN Mark Swed's review of "The Bonesetter's Daughter" ["In the Chinese Spirit," Sept. 15], the new opera based upon Amy Tan's novel of the same name, he referred to Art Kamen, Ruth Kamen's husband, as an "American." Perhaps he meant to identify that character as "white" or "an American of European descent," since the term "American" is not a synonym for a white person.

Also, I assume that in identifying Tan as "a literary celebrity in the Bay Area," he did not mean to imply that she is somehow "just" a regionally popular author. (I doubt, for example, that Swed would identify Stephen King as "a literary celebrity in Bangor" were he reviewing an opera based upon "Carrie" that was being premiered in Maine.)

Kathryn Ritchie

South Pasadena

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