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The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

The Hundred Secret Senses (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Amy Tan

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4,872541,405 (3.8)100
Title:The Hundred Secret Senses
Authors:Amy Tan
Info:Putnam Adult (1995), Hardcover, 358 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan (1995)



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» See also 100 mentions

English (50)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Reading for over a week. It puts me to sleep in a good way. Knowing I'm no where near going to be able to finish 75 books this year I'm not compelled or stressed to rush read. I'm in love with Kwan and wish she could be my sister. A larger than life character with an imagination that is beyond rivals and a generous heart that is so beautiful I want to seek her out even though I realize she is only a character in a book. ( )
  Alphawoman | Nov 23, 2017 |
Tan's characters are wonderfully written with quirky talents and habits, but not in an annoying way. Olivia the main character is coming to grips with her impending divorce, while reliving her struggles to adapt to her older half sister. There is also a heavy dose of magical realism with Kwan's "yin eyes" (the ability to see ghosts). While there are many two dimensional characters that don't really need to be in the book, there are wonderful main characters and rich secondary characters. ( )
  SadieRuin | Sep 4, 2017 |
Set in contemporary San Francisco and China of the 1800s. A great, engaging read. Highly recommended. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Sep 21, 2016 |
Reading this book made me want two things: to visit China and to not eat anything at all while I'm in China.

This novel centers on the complicated relationship between two sisters and about the many ghosts, past and present, that influence our decisions. Tan does an excellent job introducing cultural differences in thought and perspective, particularly about loyalty and responsibility, and how those differences come together in individuals at the intersection of two or more cultures. I appreciate the way that Tan approaches the issue of the assumptions we make about other individuals, other cultures, and ourselves and what makes a life worth living.

I couldn't see China quite as clearly as I would have liked but more clearly than I think I have while reading any other book about China. While reading the sections that took place in China I felt quite clearly the weight of thousands of years of tradition and responsibility punctuated by interference from outside forces. What a different history China has from the way I view my place in U.S. history.

Perhaps I would have done better to let this novel simmer a little longer before reviewing it so clumsily, but then I'd run the risk of never reviewing it at all because that's where I am with things right now. If I don't do something right now it seems to get lost in the to-do pile. So I'm opting for clumsily completing projects rather than not doing them at all. Embracing imperfection---that's what I'm all about these days (or at least that's what I'm all about saying I'm all about. Actually doing it is another matter). ( )
2 vote ImperfectCJ | Aug 22, 2016 |
I met Amy Tan at a writer's conference a few years ago, and had the pleasure of listening to her in several sessions. It gave me a completely different insight to her stories.

Although she writes novels, a large amount of what she uses is actually pulled from her family history. At first I was a little annoyed that her books seem to cover the same bases and topics over and over, but after listening to her at the conference I realized that was because there was so much detail to be settled and not due to a lack of ideas. She was/is still laying to rest the tragic ghosts of her family history. Each novel is in part a re-imagining of her own ancestors and trying to figure out who they were and what they felt as they underwent unthinkably tragic events generation to generation. ( )
  AdriAnna2 | Aug 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amy Tanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lohmann, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080411109X, Mass Market Paperback)

"TRULY MAGICAL . . . UNFORGETTABLE . . . The first-person narrator is Olivia Laguni, and her unrelenting nemesis from childhood on is her half-sister, Kwan Li. . . . It is Kwan's haunting predictions, her implementation of the secret senses, and her linking of the present with the past that cause this novel to shimmer with meaning--and to leave it in the readers mind when the book has long been finished."
--The San Diego Tribune
"HER MOST POLISHED WORK . . . Tan is a wonderful storyteller, and the story's many strands--Olivia's childhood, her courtship and marriage, Kwan's ghost stories and village tales--propel the work to its climactic but bittersweet end." --USA Today
"TAN HAS ONCE MORE PRODUCED A NOVEL WONDERFULLY LIKE A HOLOGRAM: turn it this way and find Chinese-Americans shopping and arguing in San Francisco; turn it that way and the Chinese of Changmian village in 1864 are fleeing into the hills to hide from the rampaging Manchus. . . . THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES doesn't simply return to a world but burrows more deeply into it, following new trails to fresh revelations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:00 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The story of two sisters, one brought up in the U.S., the other in China. The American sister is contemptuous of the other's belief in ghosts until events cause her to understand what they can do. A tale of two cultures by the author of The Kitchen God's Wife.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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