Amy Tan

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Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film. The book has been translated into 35 languages.

Tan has written several other bestselling novels, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter and Saving Fish From Drowning. She also wrote a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. Her most recent novel Saving Fish From Drowning explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition in the jungles of Burma. In addition to these, Tan has written two children's books: The Moon Lady (1992) and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (1994), which was turned into an animated series airing on PBS. She also appeared on PBS in a short spot encouraging children to write.


Personal life

Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrants John Tan, an electrical engineer and Baptist minister, and Daisy, who was forced to leave her three daughters from a previous marriage behind in Shanghai. This incident provided the basis for Tan's first novel, 1989 New York Times bestseller The Joy Luck Club.[1]

Amy is the middle child and only daughter among Daisy and John Tan's three children. In the late 1960s Amy's sixteen-year-old brother Peter died of a brain tumor. Within a year of Peter's death, Amy's father died of the same disease. After these family tragedies, Daisy moved Amy and her younger brother John Jr. to Switzerland, where Amy finished high school.[2] During this period, Amy learned about her mother's former marriage to an abusive man in China, and of their four children, including three daughters and a son who died as a toddler. In 1987 Amy traveled with Daisy to China. There, Amy finally met her three half-sisters.[3]

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