Looking for information on Amy Tan's writing.Does her writing describe chinese-american culture and explore generation conflict?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Amy Tan's writing, she says that while she writes about Chinese characters or Chinese-American characters, she is not writing as a commentary on the Chinese culture, but about people. And while some people look to find a commentary on being Chinese within the pages, she insists it is not there.

Tan notes first that a writer first has a story to tell, not a specific group of people to study:

Someone who writes fiction is not necessarily writing a depiction of any generalized group, they are writing a very specific story.

The intent of Tan's writing is not to teach about China. In her stories, she describes women who can speak to other women who are not immigrants as her mothers are in The Joy Luck Club. Tan treats her writing not as a sociological study, but "as literature--as a story, language, memory."

In this way, her writing has a much more human component. Tan sees herself as a storyteller.

"What my books are about is relationships and family..." She sees the writer as "storyteller, teacher, and enchanter."

Amy Tan's characters in The Joy Luck Club are three-dimensional: she gives them life, breath and depth. They have stories, memories, hopes, and heartaches; but they are all survivors trying to connect with their daughters. She writes for the reasons that she believes readers choose to read, and writers to write:

...to feel more deeply, to see more clearly, to know what questions to ask, and to formulate what we believe.

For more information specifically about the literary aspects of Tan's form, go to the following website:


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