Amy Tan Books

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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.

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Order of Amy Tan Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
1 Rules for Virgins 2012 Description / Buy

Order of Amy Tan Children's Series

# Read Title Published Details
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

# Read Title Published Details
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
4 The Backyard Bird Chronicles 2024 Description / Buy

Order of Amy Tan Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Big City Cool: Short Stories About Urban Youth ( With: Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Walter Dean Myers, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Neal Shusterman, Cherylene Lee, M. Jerry Weiss, Helen S. Weiss, Elennora Tate, Eugenia Collier, Paul Many, Michael Rosovsky) 2002 Description / Buy

Amy Tan Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Points of View 1956 Description / Buy
2 The Short Story: 30 Masterpieces 1992 Description / Buy
3 American Voices 1992 Description / Buy
4 Growing Up Female: Stories By Women Writers From the American Mosaic 1993 Description / Buy
5 Charlie Chan is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction 1993 Description / Buy
6 Mid-life Confidential 1994 Description / Buy
7 Out of the Mold 1997 Description / Buy
8 The Best American Short Stories 1999 1999 Description / Buy
9 The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction 1999 Description / Buy
10 The Eloquent Essay 2000 Description / Buy
11 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology 2000 Description / Buy
12 Big City Cool: Short Stories About Urban Youth 2002 Description / Buy
13 The Little Big Book of California 2005 Description / Buy
14 40 Model Essays 2005 Description / Buy
15 Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction 2007 Description / Buy
16 Rotten English: A Literary Anthology 2007 Description / Buy
17 FIRST WORDS: Earliest Writing from Favorite Contemporary Authors 2009 Description / Buy
18 Selected Shorts: American Classics 2010 Description / Buy
19 Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (of Authors) Tells All 2013 Description / Buy
20 The Boomer List 2014 Description / Buy
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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?

The next book by Amy Tan is The Backyard Bird Chronicles and will be released on April, 23rd 2024. It is the newest book in the Amy Tan Non-Fiction Books.

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