With her acclaimed 1989 novel The Joy Luck Club and its successors, Amy Tan succeeded in revealing the Chinese-American sensibility to readers in unprecedented numbers. In mystical, winding prose, she draws the boundaries and commonalities between generations of women who are related, but born worlds apart.
Read the biography
Exclusive: Hear our audio interview with Tan (16:33)
Amy Tan at Barnes & Noble.
Also Known As:
San Francisco, California and New York, New York
Date of Birth:
February 19, 1952
Place of Birth:
B.A., San Jose State University, 1973; M.A., 1974
|The Best Book to Read First|
|Joy Luck Club|
This startlingly original debut novel tells the emotionally honest and intensely moving story of several generations of Chinese-American women and their families. Nominated for a National Book Award, it was called by the New York Times "a jewel of a book." With Tan collaborating on the screenplay, it was adapted to the screen in 1993.
|Tan's Books for Children||Tan's Favorite Books|
|The Moon Lady|
Amy Tan, Gretchen Schields (Illustrator)
In this story plucked from the pages of The Joy Luck Club, a grandmother tells her granddaughters a story of her girlhood experience in China during the autumn moon festival. Tan's second children's book reveals the mystery of how Siamese cats get their trademark patterns. Schields' vibrant illustrations enhance the stories' beauty.
When asked by Salon.com to come up with some of her favorite reads, Tan sang the praises of Jane Eyre, Love Medicine, Annie John and "any unabridged dictionary." But if she only had one book and a desert island? Lolita. "To me," she wrote, "[it] has no message, no purpose, other than to exist as a marvel of literary creation. It has wit, intelligence and style."
|Photo by Robert Foothorap||