Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 9 hours and 5 minutes
First Published: 1989
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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.
Quotes from The Joy Luck Club
Isn’t hate merely the result of wounded love?
For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me.
Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention.
Too many good things all seem the same after a while.
Movie Trailer for The Joy Luck Club (1993)
About Amy Tan
Amy Tan is a bestselling author whose works include The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Kitchen God’s Wife, and The Hundred Secret Senses. She is also the author of two children’s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat. Tan was a coproducer and coscreenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club and was the librettist for the opera version of The Bonesetter’s Daughter. She currently lives in San Francisco and New York. Visit the author’s website →