Love Medicine, written by Louise Erdrich and originally published in 1984, was reprinted in 1993 by HarperPerennial Library when the author added five new chapters to the novel. This book is a series of interwoven stories about different generations in a Native American family. In 1985, Amy Tan read this book and was influenced heavily by it when she wrote The Joy Luck Club.
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, originally published in 1976, is a memoir of a Chinese-American girl growing up in Stockton, California. There are two worlds that the girl lives between, America—the place her parents emigrated to—and China, which the girl hears about in her mother’s ‘‘talk-stories.’’ Written by Maxine Hong Kingston, the first critically successful Asian-American writer in the United States, the book helped pave the way for Asian-American writers like Amy Tan.
How To Think in Chess was written by Jan Przewoznik and Marek Soszynski and was published in 2001 by Russell Enterprises. This book uses psychological experiments to show how professional chess players really think, how they ‘‘see’’ the chessboard. It then teaches readers to examine their own thought process when playing chess, so that they will be able to discover how they may be limiting their potential.
The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan, was published in 2002 by Ballantine Books. This book is about a mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and becomes determined to write a record of her birth and family history, so that she will not forget the details of her life as her memory continues to deteriorate. Her daughter, a ghost writer for self-help books, has little knowledge of her mother’s history. The daughter becomes determined to improve the bad relationship she has with her mother and to try to find out who her mother really is before she loses the opportunity forever.
The Kitchen God’s Wife, Amy Tan’s second novel, was published by Putnam in 1991. The book further explores the generation gap between Chinese-born mothers and their American- born daughters, but, unlike The Joy Luck Club, the story is limited to only two heroines.
Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Father of a Prodigy Observes the World of Chess was written by Fred Waitzkin and published in 1993 by Penguin USA. This book is the story of Waitzkin and his son, Josh. It covers the time period from when a six year-old Josh first sits down at a chessboard until he competes for the national championship. Through this journey, father and son must also work through the challenges of their own difficult relationship.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess was written by Patrick Wolff and published in 2001 by Alpha Books. Wolff, the current United States Chess Champion and International Grandmaster, teaches quick and easy strategies for learning the basics of chess. This book contains essential information on basic openings and endgames, as well as tips on how to read a rival’s moves.