What Do I Read Next?
The Kitchen God's Wife, published in 1991 by Putnam of New York, was Tan's second novel. While many predicted that Tan would not be able to achieve the success of her first novel, this work received many accolades. It, too, deals with mother/daughter themes but also hints that male-centered social traditions hinder women's relationships with each other. Set in pre and post-World War II China, the story portrays a woman's struggles in an abusive relationship. In writing this book, Tan tells a story that is very similar to her mother's.
In a children's picture book entitled The Moon Lady, Amy Tan extends the story from the chapter of the same title in her first novel. Published in 1992 by Macrmllan, The Moon Lady appeals to pre-teens as an introduction to Tan's themes and style. The Moon Lady is about a seven-year-old girl who attends the autumn moon festival and encounters the lady who lives on the moon and grants secret wishes.
Published in 1995, The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan is a story about American-born Olivia and her Chinese half-sister, Kwan. When she comes to America to live with three-year-old Olivia, Kwan is eighteen and full of stories about having "yin eyes." She convinces Olivia that she can see and communicate with the dead. The story follows the girls through adulthood and tells of the strong bond that forms between them.
In her 1976 memoir The Woman Warrior Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston, an American writer born of Chinese immigrant parents, blends myth and legend with history and autobiography. Growing out of stories that Kingston's mother told her as "lessons to grow up on," the book has several parallels with Tan's most famous novel, such as profiling Kingston's mother Brave Orchid and the author's description of the difficulties she encountered as a second-generaration Chinese American.
"The Intersections of Gender, Class, Race, and Culture On Seeing Clients Whole" is an article that discusses identity formation in terms of race, culture, and class. The article can be found in the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Vol. 21, No. 1, January, 1993, pp. 50-58.