The history of the Bay Area is shaped by influxes of immigrants, each wave searching for something so similar and yet so different. Tan beautifully illustrates the dangers of a cultural assimilation that disrupts the continuity between generations and threatens to undermine the dreams that lead people to seek a different life in the first place; and she celebrates possibilities of finding personal identity within such a divided world.
“The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew it was going to be incredible. For me, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime reading experiences that you cherish forever. It inspired me as a writer and still remains hugely inspirational.” —Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians
Amy Tan’s beloved, New York Times bestselling tale of mothers and daughters
Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.
With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.
About the Author
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, Saving Fish from Drowning, The Valley of Amazement, Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which was adapted into a PBS television series. Tan was also a coproducer and coscreenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club and was librettist for the opera version of The Bonesetter’s Daughter. Her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
"Powerful as myth." —The Washington Post Book World
"Beautifully written...a jewel of a book." —The New York Times Book Review
"Powerful...full of magic...you won't be doing anything of importance until you have finished this book." —Los Angeles Times
"Wonderful...a significant lesson in what storytelling has to do with memory and inheritance." —San Francisco Chronicle
“Reading it really changed the way I thought about Asian-American history. Our heritage has a lot of difficult stuff in it — a lot of misogyny, a lot of fear and rage and death. It showed me a past that reached beyond borders and languages and cultures to bring together these disparate elements of who we are. I hadn’t seen our history like that before. At that time, we hadn’t seen a lot of Asian-American representations anywhere, so it was a big deal that it even existed. It made me feel validated and seen. That’s what’s so important about books like that. You feel like, Oh my god, I exist here. I exist in this landscape of literature and memoir. I’m here, and I have a story to tell, and it’s among the canon of Asian-American stories that are feminist and that are true to our being. It’s a book that has stayed with me and lived in me.” —Margaret Cho