The Kitchen God's Wife
By Amy Tan
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143038108, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 21, 2006
Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past—including the terible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie's story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events tha led to Winnie's coming to America in 1949.
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, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which has been adapted as Sagwa, a PBS series for children. Tan was also the co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club, and her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Tan, who has a master’s degree in linguistics from San Jose University, has worked as a language specialist to programs serving children with developmental disabilities. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
"A beautiful book...what fascinates in The Kitchen God's Wife is not only the insistent storytelling but the details of Chinese life and tradition; not only how people lived but how their sensibility shines through, most notably in their speech. Amy Tan has a command with language in which event and concrete perception jump into palpable metaphor, and images from the daily world act like spiritual agents." —Los Angeles Times
"Remarkable...mesmerizing...compelling.... An entire world unfolds in Tolstoyan tide of event and detail....Give yourself over to the world Ms. Tan creates for you." —The New York Times Book Review