Amy Tan was born in 1952 in Oakland, California, to Daisy and John Tan. Her Chinese name, An-mei, means ‘‘Blessing from America,’’ and she is the only daughter in the Tan family. Her parents' experiences as immigrants became the basis of her fiction.
When her father and her older brother died of brain tumors within eight months of each other, Tan's world changed. Her mother returned to her old Chinese beliefs and religious practices and became convinced that the family's house in Santa Clara was cursed. Consequently, she packed up her remaining son and daughter and took...
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