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The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club (original 1989; edition 2006)

by Amy Tan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,610142190 (3.87)238
Title:The Joy Luck Club
Authors:Amy Tan
Info:Penguin Books (2006), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:china, historical fiction, united states

Work details

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

  1. 31
    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (Jennie_103)
    Jennie_103: Another story of generations of chinese women.
  2. 00
    Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong (Imprinted)
  3. 00
    Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West by Helen Tse (elbakerone)
  4. 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 238 mentions

English (130)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (139)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
A strange book, showing the lives of four Chinese families with individual portraits of the mothers and daughters. Sixteen chapters, four sections interleaved - so rather confusing at first. It's interesting at times, about Chinese life and adapting to American culture, and there's some sadness. Yet I couldn't get emotionally involved - it was almost like linked short stories, rather than a novel. Pleasant enough, but nothing special. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
A beautiful, fascinating book about mothers and daughters ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Tan creates endearing stories about mothers and daughters in this book. She takes us into the minds of chinese women in a way that I have never been previously exposed to in writing, which makes it very interesting to read about. The elements that she gives each character is such a human truth that you don't instantly think of the fact that these are chinese characters, but that they are people that you could bump into at the supermarket on a daily basis. Many times while reading this book I forgot that I was reading a book and not peering into the lives of actual people. To be able to create a world so focused and fine-tuned that one feels it is real is something only a skilled author can do and that is what I feel Amy Tan is.

The book takes us through many journeys of China from rich families, families broken up due to war, and to those coming to America for a better life. Each story is wrapped up beautifully, but also adds to the depth of the overall story of these women. If you want a story that speaks about powerful women without trying to intentionally make them powerful then this is a book to read because these women are real. They have true emotions and live true lives. Never do you question the motivation of any of the characters.

Tan doesn't describe scenes in my opinion, but gets us to understand the actions of the characters. She is able to make you understand to a pinpoint why a character is saying what they are in the book. Also you get a better understanding of an older generation vs. a younger generation because of this book. This truly is a gem and I look forward to reading some of her other works. ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
I think this book is perfect for read-alongs, book clubs, and college courses because it should be read a little chunk at a time and discussed in detail. There are so many emotions and ideas to process throughout the stories of the four mothers and daughters that I think trying to read the book quickly wouldn't allow the time and space needed to dig in deep. I also think anyone reading this book should be prepared to want to learn more about China's history and culture. What little I already knew was not enough, and The Joy Luck Club prodded me to go in search of that knowledge.

What makes this book one of the top pieces of literary fiction is even when you think Chinese culture is so very different that no one but the Chinese could possibly understand, the struggles that occur between mothers and daughters is relatable no matter where you come from in the world. Am I an expert on Chinese familial relationships? Not a chance. Did I see my mother and myself in those pages? All the time. Amy Tan somehow combines uncomfortable unfamiliarity with the feeling of looking in a mirror. She even has the characters experience this same interchange of emotions as they find themselves realizing how different and yet how similar they are to each other. She also turns myth into reality and vice versa. Somehow she manages all this within the structure of a mahjong game. At the end of every chapter, I would pause for a moment to let what I had read sink in and allow myself to feel astounded. For once, I can safely say that this is a book everyone should read. ( )
  FortifiedByBooks | Dec 11, 2015 |
I seriously find all of Amy Tan's work amazing. The old Chinese way of thinking, seeing the world and interacting with their children and everyone around them in a place so different from their home, so "advanced", is extremely interesting. Read read read read, I wish I had better words to convince you. ( )
  arpentec | Nov 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tan, AmyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother and the memory of her mother. You asked me once what I would remember. This, and much more.
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The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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