The Joy Luck Club

By Amy Tan
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143038092, 288pp.)

Publication Date: September 2006

List Price: $16.00*
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Description
For readers of Amy Tan's bestselling novel, "The Valley of Amazement," revisit her classic tale of mothers and daughters
Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.




About the Author
AMY TAN is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter s Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, which was adapted into a PBS television series. Tan was coproducer and coscreenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club and wrote the libretto for The Bonesetter s Daughter opera. Her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Although the women in The Joy Luck Club are Chinese or Chinese American, and their heritage plays an important part in their lives, they also have experiences that all of us face, regardless of culture, even today. They struggle with raising their children, contend with unhappy marriages, cope with difficult financial circumstances, and are disheartened by bad luck. Which of the eight main characters did you identify with the most? Why?

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