Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.
Amy Tan is an American author of Chinese descent that wrote ‘The Joy Luck Club’. Born in 1952 in Oakland, Tan has lived an interesting life. She attended San Jose State University where she studied English and Linguistics (Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree) and the University of California (Santa Cruz and Berkley) from where she pursued doctoral courses.
Order of Amy Tan Standalone Novels
|1||The Joy Luck Club||1989||Description / Buy|
|2||The Kitchen God's Wife||1991||Description / Buy|
|3||The Hundred Secret Senses||1995||Description / Buy|
|4||The Bonesetter's Daughter||2001||Description / Buy|
|5||Saving Fish from Drowning||2005||Description / Buy|
|6||The Valley of Amazement||2013||Description / Buy|
Order of Amy Tan Short Stories/Novellas
|1||Rules for Virgins||2012||Description / Buy|
Order of Amy Tan Children's Series
|1||The Moon Lady (Short Story)||1992||Description / Buy|
|2||Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (Short Story)||1994||Description / Buy|
Order of Amy Tan Non-Fiction Books
|1||The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings||2003||Description / Buy|
|2||Post Pregnancy Diet (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
|3||Where The Past Begins: A Writers Memoir||2017||Description / Buy|
Order of Selected Shorts Series
|1||Selected Shorts: Lots of Laughs||2005||Description / Buy|
|2||Selected Shorts: Timeless Classics||2006||Description / Buy|
|3||Selected Shorts: Falling in Love||2007||Description / Buy|
|4||Selected Shorts: Tales of Betrayal||2007||Description / Buy|
|5||Selected Shorts: Are We There Yet?||2008||Description / Buy|
|6||Selected Shorts: American Classics||2010||Description / Buy|
Amy Tan Anthologies
|1||American Voices||1992||Description / Buy|
|2||Mid-life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude||1994||Description / Buy|
|3||The Best American Short Stories 1999||1999||Description / Buy|
|4||Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (of Authors) Tells All||2013||Description / Buy|
The people that have seen her resume might be surprised to learn that she did a litany of odd jobs. That includes working for companies like Pacific Bell and AT&T as a freelance writer, bartending, and making pizzas. Though, she did all that while she was in school.
The author’s family life was complicated. Her parents, John and Daisy left China for the United States in the wake of the Chinese Civil War. John was a Baptist minister with an electrical engineering background. Tan lost him to a brain tumor during her teenage years.
The tragedy was compounded by the death of her older brother who also succumbed to a brain tumor half a year later. Tan spent the rest of her high school years at the Institute Monte Rosa (Montreux). This was after the author and her younger brother moved to Switzerland with their mother.
Daisy’s relationship with her daughter shaped Tan’s adult life. She wasn’t the best of mothers. Tan was still quite young when she realized that Daisy had another family. John wasn’t her first husband.
The first man Daisy had married was still in China. Their relationship produced four children. Daisy had abandoned them all. Tan finally met her half-sisters in 1987 when she returned to China with her mother.
Tan has no interest in having children. Her mother had depression and the author saw what it did to her. She went so far as to hold a knife to her daughter’s throat during an argument. She also attempted suicide at one point. This was after making several threats to kill herself. Her mother –Tan’s grandmother– had died in a similar manner. She committed suicide.
The author was not immune to the ailment. She struggles with depression. Even though she takes antidepressants and she can function as an adult, Tan doesn’t want to pass her mental instability on to her children, especially when she has battled suicidal ideations in the past.
The ordeals the author has suffered throughout her life have shaped the books she writes. ‘The Joy Luck Club’ was inspired by her mother’s relationship with her first family. She was still a freelancer when she started writing it.
Because she wasn’t confident in her writing abilities, she joined a workshop (Squaw Valley Program). She wanted to use the lessons the workshop would teach her to fix her draft. Molly Giles, a teacher at the workshop, had the opportunity to see her draft. She was so impressed by the manuscript that she pushed Tan to send her work to magazines.
‘The Joy Luck Club’ initially received publication as a series of short stories. Eventually, she attracted the attention of several publishing houses that submitted offers to Tan. She rejected them all because the money wasn’t enough. Finally, she agreed to sign with Putnam books. They paid her $50,000.
Amy Tan Awards
Tan has received National Book Award, Baileys Women’s Prize, and Women’s Prize For Fiction nominations.
Amy Tan Books Into Movies
‘The Joy Luck Club’ became a film of the same name in 1993. Tan’s children’s books (Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, and The Moon Lady) became animated series that people watched on PBS.
Best Amy Tan Books
Tan’s time at Berkeley was tainted by the murder of her roommate. The author had to identify the body. As a result, she temporarily lost her voice. This kept happening for the next decade, specifically on the anniversary of that tragic day. Tan’s best books include:
The Joy Luck Club: The women of The Joy Luck Club would meet every week to play mahjong as they exchanged stories about their lives in China. The American immigrants had daughters who were a little too quick to dismiss the advice their mothers dolled out. That changed when their inner turmoil leaped to the surface.
The Bonesetter’s Daughter: LuLing was raised by her mute auntie in a remote village. Her family was already struggling under the burden of a curse. Things took an interesting turn when LuLing refused to marry the coffin-maker. Now, years later, Ruth is about to learn the truth about her widowed mother.
When Does The Next Amy Tan book come out?
Amy Tan doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Where The Past Begins: A Writers Memoir and was released on October, 17th 2017. It is the newest book in the Amy Tan Non-Fiction Books.