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A Conversation with Amy Tan

From: National Endowment for the Arts
Series: Art Works Podcast
Length: 27:50

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Author Amy Tan talks about her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, her relationship with her mother, and the art of writing. Read the full description.

Tan110_small Written in 1989, The Joy Luck Club is a series of interconnected stories about Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American Daughters. Amy Tan has written other very successful books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, and The Bonesetter's Daughter. But none captured the public imagination like the The Joy Luck Club, with its struggles of the parents and children attempting to communicate across generations and cultures.  In fact, The Joy Luck Club was chosen as a selection for the NEA's literary program, The Big Read and it remains one of its most popular titles.

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Piece Description

Written in 1989, The Joy Luck Club is a series of interconnected stories about Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American Daughters. Amy Tan has written other very successful books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, and The Bonesetter's Daughter. But none captured the public imagination like the The Joy Luck Club, with its struggles of the parents and children attempting to communicate across generations and cultures.  In fact, The Joy Luck Club was chosen as a selection for the NEA's literary program, The Big Read and it remains one of its most popular titles.

Transcript

Transcript of conversation with Amy Tan

Amy Tan: Well, there are two parts of the beginning of The Joy Luck Club, the writing of it. One was that I decided that I wanted to write short stories just do something that mattered to me in a way of an art form. At first I wrote something that was so different from my life about a girl from a different family, father, you know, was a professor at MIT and the mother was a well-to-do, rather bored housewife and the more I tried to get away from what was genuine in my life the worse off the stories were. And finally, when I decided no one was going to ever read my stories, I started writing them from a point of view that was closer to my actual life and, lo and behold, those stories became meaningful to me. You know, that was the great discovery is that if you write something from your heart, even though it's fictional, it provides that mean...
Read the full transcript

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Moon Reflected at the Pool at Erquan Music from China Music from China. :00

Additional Credits

Interview conducted and edited by Jo Reed

Related Website

http://www.arts.gov/podweb/podCMS/podlist.php?option=mr&start=52