IntroductionBorn in 1952 to Chinese immigrant parents, Amy Tan grew up in Northern California. Tan’s mother (the subject of her second novel, The Kitchen God’s Wife) suffered at the hands of a brutal husband whom she eventually divorced. Sadly, she was forced to leave her three daughters behind in China. Tan and her siblings were from her mother’s second marriage in the States. Tan’s first book, The Joy Luck Club, was a phenomenal critical and popular success. In most of her works, she deals unflinchingly with the dynamics of mother/daughter relationships, finding a way to respect the past but live in the present, and to retain a sense of identity for her characters as they attempt to balance the yin and the yang of their Chinese and American selves.
- Defying her mother’s wishes, Tan left the premedical program she had been enrolled in and switched her major to English and linguistics. She graduated with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from San Jose State University in 1974.
- Although she enrolled in a doctoral program, Tan decided to take a job working with mentally challenged children in Alameda, California. She also developed a program for developmentally disabled children during this time.
- Before permanently turning to fiction writing, Amy Tan tried her hand at technical writing.
- When her mother fell ill and seemed near death, Tan promised that she would take her to China to find the daughters her mother was forced to abandon decades earlier. They were reunited, and Tan credits this meeting with helping her see her mother in a new light.
- Amy Tan is a musician in a band called The Rock Bottom Remainders (“remainders” are the books that do not sell and become clearance bin fodder). The other members of the band include humorist Dave Barry, authors Stephen King and Barbara Kingsolver, and Simpsons creator Matt Groening.
- Amy Tan - Critical Survey of Long Fiction
- Amy Tan Criticism
- Amy Tan Short Story Critical Overview
- The Joy Luck Club Criticism
- The Bonesetter's Daughter Review
- The Hundred Secret Senses Magill Book Review
- The Hundred Secret Senses Magill's Choice: American Ethnic Writers
- The Joy Luck Club Review
- Rules of the Game Study Guide
- The Joy Luck Club Study Guide (eNotes)
- The Kitchen God's Wife Study Guide (eNotes)
- Two Kinds Study Guide
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