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The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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The Joy Luck Club (1989)

by Amy Tan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,278158248 (3.87)316
  1. 41
    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (Jennie_103)
    Jennie_103: Another story of generations of chinese women.
  2. 00
    The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy (laytonwoman3rd)
    laytonwoman3rd: This novel explores similar themes of the generation gap in immigrant Chinese families---the "old ways" in conflict with the new world.
  3. 00
    Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong (Imprinted)
  4. 00
    Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West by Helen Tse (elbakerone)
  5. 00
    Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (Othemts)
    Othemts: In a superficial way this book reminds me of the stories of Amy Tan in that they show the strains of relationships between mothers and daughters, immigrants and American-born.
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» See also 316 mentions

English (146)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (156)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
This was a deep exploration of the relations of mothers and daughters. Their ties to China and its culture are in virtually every paragraph. It is a book about women. The men do not fair so well in the prose. The pressures of filial love vs. cultural expectations are the palpable tensions. Morality, superstition, long held views of life and tradition are preened and discarded or criticized. There is a tone of cultural arrogance but tempered by primal genetic ties of longing, dreams and acceptance. It is a book with a great deal of struggle and dissatisfaction, always hinting at the power of motherhood as a form of redemption. ( )
  DonaldPowell | Feb 5, 2019 |
I had heard that this was a good book to read not long after it had been published, but I have only just got round to finishing it. This is a story told from 7 perspectives (not including one mother) and explores the lives of Chinese immigrant mothers and their first generation daughters born in America. It is interesting to read the complex relationships between the mothers and daughters, as well as the stories behind the journey to the States and the adjustments made to living there. Seeing how the mythologies are woven into everyday beliefs and actions is fascinating, and for this alone is an informative read.

It's not a story with a gripping single plot, nor is it one that winds the threads together at the end...rather it 4 individual family stories linked by the Joy Luck club and mah jong. ( )
  peelap | Feb 3, 2019 |
I haven't picked this up since high school, but I was thrilled to get around to re-reading this. Each sentence is poetry; the Chinese customs, language, nuances, and characters float right off the page. It's a beautiful book to read. I also love the differences between the mothers and daughters; at first you think it's generational, but it's all about being raised American, in a new land with new customs. The Joy Luck Club tells of four Chinese women who immigrated to America in their youth and their four daughter who were raised American. The daughters can't understand where their parents came from, not the struggles, the humiliations, the secrets. They are too wrapped up in themselves and ashamed of their mothers and their odd beliefs. As the stories unfold (alternating chapters feature different perspectives); the mothers reminiscing about how they were raised and persevered, the daughters start to realize that they are more then their differences, they have a resilience, a strength in spirit that needed to be overcome, but deep down they are closer to their mothers than they ever thought possible. Storytelling at it's finest. ( )
  ecataldi | Jan 22, 2019 |
Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
I found the mother's stories particularly compelling, as I enjoyed the historicity of the characters from a history markedly different from what I learned in school, but I wish that maybe instead of including dozens of vignettes, Tan would have chosen one of the stories and followed it. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
In Tan's hands, these linked stories - diverse as they are - fit almost magically into a powerfully coherent novel, whose winning combination of ingredients - immigrant experience, mother-daughter ties, Pacific Rim culture - make it a book with the ``good luck'' to be in the right place at the right time.
 
In the hands of a less talented writer such thematic material might easily have become overly didactic, and the characters might have seemed like cutouts from a Chinese-American knockoff of ''Roots.'' But in the hands of Amy Tan, who has a wonderful eye for what 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. She has written a jewel of a book.
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tan, Amyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To my mother and the memory of her mother. You asked me once what I would remember. This, and much more.
First words
The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please don't combine with commentaries or educational adaptations
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143038095, Paperback)

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:48 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In 1949, four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club--and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades.… (more)

» see all 12 descriptions

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