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The Joy Luck Club
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Amy Tan's bestselling classic novel of mothers and daughters.

About the Author

Amy Tan was born in the US to immigrant parents from China. Her novels include The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning, all New York Times bestsellers and the recipient of various awards. She is also the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, two children's books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, and numberous articles for magazines. Her work has been translated into 35 languages and has been adapted for film, television and opera. Amy Tan also serves as the Literary Editor for the Los Angeles Times magazine.

Reviews

Intensely poetic, startlingly imaginative and moving, this remarkable book will speak to many women, mothers and grown daughters, about the persistent tensions and powerful bonds between generations and cultures. The narrative voice moves among seven characters. Jing-mei ``June'' Woo recounts her first session in a San Francisco mah-jong club founded by her recently dead, spiritually vital, mother. The three remaining club members and their daughters alternate with stories of their lives, tales that are stunning, funny and heartbreaking. The mothers, all born in China, tell about grueling hardship and misery, the tyranny of family pride and the fear of losing face. The daughters try to reconcile their personalities, shaped by American standards, with seemingly irrational maternal expectations. ``My mother and I never understood each other; we translated each other's meanings. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese,'' says one character. A crippling generation gap is the result: the mothers, superstitious, full of dread, always fearing bad luck, raise their daughters with hope that their lives will be better, but they also mourn the loss of a heritage their daughters cannot comprehend. Deceptively simple, yet inherently dramatic, each chapter can stand alone; yet personalities unfold and details build to deepen the impact and meaning of the whole. Thus, when infants abandoned in China in the first chapter turn up as adults in the last, their reunion with the one remaining family member is a poignant reminder of what is possible and what is not. On the order of Maxine Hong Kingston's work, but more accessible, its Oriental orientation an irresistible magnet, Tan's first novel is a major achievement. First serial to Atlantic, Ladies' Home Journal and San Francisco Focus; BOMC and QPBC featured alternates. (Mar.)

What a wonderful book! The ``joy luck club'' is a mah jong/storytelling support group formed by four Chinese women in San Francisco in 1949. Years later, when member Suyuan Woo dies, her daughter June (Jing-mei) is asked to take her place at the mah jong table. With chapters alternating between the mothers and the daughters of the group, we hear stories of the old times and the new; as parents struggle to adjust to America, their American children must struggle with the confusion of having immigrant parents. Reminiscent of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior in its vivid depiction of Chinese-American women, this novel is full of complicated, endearingly human characters and first-rate story telling in the oral tradition. It should be a hit in any fiction collection.-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.

"The Joy Luck Club is an ambitious saga that's impossible to read without wanting to call your mum" Stylist "Pure enchantment" Mail on Sunday "Honest, moving and beautifully courageous" -- Alice Walker "In this deft and original debut, Amy Tan shows that she is both a consummate storyteller and writer whose prose manages to be emotionally charged without a trace of sentimentality" Sunday Times "A brilliant first novel... Tan writes from the heart, cutting sharp edges with wit, wisdom and a gentle and delicate precision... The novel covers a remarkable spectrum and reveals the private secrets and ghosts that haunt, torment - and comfort. Completely compelling" Time Out

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