The Joy Luck Club

BOOK: The Joy Luck Club
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Table of Contents
Praise for
The Joy Luck Club
“Powerful as myth . . . Amy Tan's brilliant novel flits in and out of many realities but all of them contain mothers and daughters. . . . Each story is a fascinating vignette, and together they weave the reader through a world where the Moon Lady can grant any wish, where a child, promised in marriage at two and delivered at twelve, can, with cunning, free herself; where a rich man's concubine secures her daughter's future by killing herself and where a woman can live on, knowing she has lost her entire life.”
The Washington Post Book World
The Joy Luck Club
, vignettes alternate back and forth between the lives of four Chinese women in pre-1949 China and the lives of their American-born daughters in California. . . . In the hands of Amy Tan, who has a wonderful eye for what she is telling, a fine ear for dialogue, a deep empathy for her subject matter and a guilelessly straightforward way of writing, they sing with a rare fidelity and beauty.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“What it is to be American, and a woman, mother, daughter, lover, wife, sister and friend—these are the troubling, loving alliances and affiliations that Tan molds into the sixteen intricate interlocking stories that constitute this remarkable first novel.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Amazing . . .
The Joy Luck Club
is dazzling because of the
it gives us. . . . The only negative thing I could ever say about this book is that I'll never again be able to read it for the first time.”
Los Angeles Times
“Tracing the poignant destinies of two generations of tough, intelligent women, each gorgeously written page welcomes the reader and leads to an enlightenment that, like all true wisdom, sometimes brings pleasure and sometimes sadness. . . . To tell this complex story, Amy Tan, a writer of dazzling talent, has created an intricate tapestry of a book—one tale woven into the other, a panorama of distinctive voices that call out to each other over time.”
Chicago Tribune
“Honest, moving, and beautifully courageous. Amy Tan shows us China, Chinese-American women and their families, and the mystery of the mother-daughter bond in ways that we have not experienced before.”
—Alice Walker
“Impressive . . . Describes the morass of fierce love and misunderstanding which lies between the two generations.”
—The New Yorker
“There aren't many books you finish and immediately want to re-read, but this is one of them.
The Joy Luck Club
is like a Chinese puzzle box—intricate, mysterious, and connected in a way that only
simple. . . . Almost mythic in structure, like the hypnotic tales of the legendary Scheherazade, this fiction is also concrete. . . . There are many more stories, each detail more haunting and unforgettable than the one before, each reflecting on someone else's story.”
“Subtle and delicate . . . . An intimate glimpse into a way of life and a culture seldom explored by Western literature . . . The stories read well individually, but together, with characters and circumstances so skillfully interwoven, the whole truly becomes greater than the sum of its parts.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Amy Tan's fiction joins the narratives of Maxine Hong Kingston and the plays of David Henry Hwang in a new genre of Asian-American cross-cultural work.
The Joy Luck Club
will delight readers of any generation or background with its carefully wrought stories of the physical and literal oceans, geographical, cultural, generational, that both divide and unite us.”
The Pittsburgh Press
“Powerful and accomplished. . . . Rich in the bittersweet ambiguities of real life.”
“Amy Tan weaves an exquisite tapestry detailing the lives of the four immigrants, their bewilderment at American culture and their struggles to instill in their daughters remnants of their Chinese heritage. It is a remarkable first novel, filled with wisdom, humor, love and sadness as each woman tells her story through flashbacks and as their daughters recall the problems of growing up in two cultures.”
Orlando Sentinel
“In witty, revealing repartee, the characters' stories unravel the intricacies of combining a Chinese heritage with American circumstances and tell of the relationships between mothers and daughters.”
Houston Chronicle
“Intensely poetic, startlingly imaginative and moving, this remarkable book will speak to many women, mothers and grown daughters, about the persistent tensions and powerful bonds between generations and cultures. . . . Deceptively simple, yet inherently dramatic, each chapter can stand alone; yet personalities unfold and details begin to deepen the impact and meaning of the whole. . . . Tan's first novel is a major achievement.”
Publishers Weekly
Amy Tan is the author of the internationally bestselling novels
The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning,
a memoir,
The Opposite of Fate
, and two children's books,
The Moon Lady
, and
, which was adapted as a PBS production, for which she served as a creative consultant and writer. Tan was also a 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. She is the librettist for the opera “The Bonesetter's Daughter” and a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, a literary garage band that raises money for charity. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published in the United States of America by G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989
Published simultaneously in Canada
Published in Penguin Books 2006
Copyright © Amy Tan, 1989
All rights reserved
The author wishes to thank the following publications in which some of the stories, in slightly different form, have already appeared:
The Atlantic, Grazia, Ladies' Home Journal, San Francisco Focus, Seventeen
, and the
Short Story Review
These are works of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either arc the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Tan, Amy.
The Joy Luck Club /Amy Tan.
p. cm.
1. Chinese Americans—Fiction. 2. Mothers and daughters—United States—Fiction.
I. Title.
PS3570.A48J-26492 CIP
eISBN : 978-1-101-50273-0
The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

The author is grateful to her weekly writers' group for kindness and criticism during the writing of this book. Special thanks also to Louis DeMattei, Robert Foothorap, Gretchen Schields, Amy Hempel, Jennifer Barth, and my family in China and America. And a thousand flowers each to three people whom I have had the joy and the luck to know: my editor, Faith Sale, for her belief in this book; my agent, Sandra Dijkstra, for saving my life; and my teacher, Molly Giles, who told me to start over again and then patiently guided me to the end.
To my mother
and the memory of her mother
You asked me once
what I would remember.
This, and much more.
Suyuan Woo
An-mei Hsu
Lindo Jong
Ying-ying St. Clair
Jing-mei “June” Woo
Rose Hsu Jordan
Waverly Jong
Lena St. Clair
BOOK: The Joy Luck Club
9.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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