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The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club (original 1989; edition 2006)

by Amy Tan

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11,649None226 (3.87)209
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. 21
    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 209 mentions

English (113)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
It was an okay book. It was basically has the same theme and plot as other Chinese themed novels I've read. "Bonesetter's Daughter" was definitely better and even Lisa See's "Secret Fan..." was better than this one. The multitude of characters did not connect with me. They seemed so far away. I got confused whose daughter is who, whose mother is who, whose husband is who. I even got confused whose story I'm reading, I kept on going back to the beginning to check. One story even reminded me of "Memoirs of a Geisha". It has a good story behind it but it fell rushed thus the confusion and then coldness of the characters. I prefer the movie than the book. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 10, 2014 |
Not a bad book, but this suffers in comparison with [b:The Woman Warrior|30852|The Woman Warrior|Maxine Hong Kingston|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1268026153s/30852.jpg|1759]. Same plot, but Maxine Hong Kingston makes Amy Tan's prose seem plodding and obvious. ( )
  gaeta1 | Nov 9, 2013 |
“The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from.” (33)

In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and “say” stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei “June” Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders “say” their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences.

This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved – over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel’s parts tell the mothers’ stories, and the other two parts are the daughters’ narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience.

“And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America …They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.” (40) ( )
4 vote lit_chick | Aug 28, 2013 |
I wanted to love this book and actually did appreciate several scenes and the insight provided into mother/daughter relationships across an immigration line - but it was so misandronistic that I had trouble seeing the dimension of the female characters, too. ( )
  Nialle | Jul 31, 2013 |
This was the book that started my obsession with Asian/Asian American literature. It shows the complexity of the Chinese culture and mother-daughter realtionships.
  AdriaFaye | Jul 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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, 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:14 -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)

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