Why should you read “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan? - Sheila Marie Orfano
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Published as her first novel in 1989, the success of The Joy Luck Club shocked Amy Tan. “After all, these were quirky stories, written by an unknown Chinese American author,” she states in an essay for the novel’s 30th anniversary. “And in those days, books that were non-mainstream were termed ‘ethnic.’” The Joy Luck Club has gone on to receive praise from major publications and notable figures in media and literature, such as comedian Margaret Cho and bestselling author Kevin Kwan. In 1993, it was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film directed by Wayne Wang. The film is widely regarded as a pivotal moment for Asian representation in Hollywood.
Amy Tan is also the author of The Kitchen God’s Wife and The Valley of Amazement, among other novels, as well as her memoir, Where the Past Begins. Just like some of her characters in The Joy Luck Club, she was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by Chinese immigrant parents, though she lived in Oakland and white suburbia as opposed to Chinatown.
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