The Joy Luck Club
About the Author
- Read a New York Times article about Amy Tan at the heart of the San Francisco writing scene.
- Amy Tan is a backup singer for the Rock Bottom Remainders, an all-author rock band. Their occasional shows raise money for literary organizations. Author/band members include Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Mitch Albom, Scott Turow, Matt Groening, James McBride, Greg Iles, Ridley Pearson, Roy Blount, Jr, Kathi Goldmark and Sam Barry. Stephen King has also performed with the band.
Other works by Amy Tan
- The Bonesetter's Daughter
- The Hundred Secret Senses
- The Kitchen's God's Wife
- Saving Fish from Drowning
- The Chinese Siamese Cat (adapted into the television series Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat)
- The Moon Lady
Novels featuring Chinese Culture and History
- The Red Chamber by Pauline Chen - An epic reimagining of the Chinese classic "Dream of the Red Chamber" is set against a backdrop of eighteenth-century Beijing and follows the intersecting lives of three women, including orphaned Daiyu, who becomes tangled in a web of intrigue with ties to the Emperor's Palace.
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - The story of friendship across class and distance follows two women throughout their lives in 19th century China.
- Dreams of Joy by Lisa See - Another favorite by Lisa See, featuring a mother, a daughter and family secrets set in Shanghai in the late 1950s.
- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie - A semi-autobiographical tale of two teenagers who discover Western classics while at a reeducation camp in the 1970s. Originally published in French.
- Pearl of China by Anchee Min - The actress Anchee Min re-imagined Pearl Buck's childhood in China, through the eyes of her peasant friend Willow. The author has written many historical fiction titles set in China.
Novels and memoirs featuring Chinese-American Families
- Mona In the Promised Land by Gish Jen
- The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston. Kingston uses a combination of family stories and legend to give voice to her ancestors. Try also her novel Tripmaster Monkey, and "China Men", elsewhere on this list.
- Girl from Purple Mountain : Love, Honor, War, and One Family's Journey from China to America by May-Lee Chai and Winberg Chai - A father and daughter collaborated to reconstruct the life of his mother (her grandmother), one of the first women to attend a Chinese university, and her experiences with the Chinese civil war and the Japanese attack on Nanking in 1937.
- Falling Leaves : The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter, by Adeline Yen Mah. This book is also available in a version written for younger readers: Chinese Cinderella
- Bone, by Fae Myenne Ng
- Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by Judy Fong Bates
- Watching the Tree: A Chinese Daughter Reflects on Happiness, Tradition, and Spiritual Wisdom by Adeline Yen Mah
- Shanghai Girls by Lisa See - Two sisters migrate from Shanghai to Los Angeles in the 1930s.
First-Generation, Second-Generation and other Immigrant Stories
- Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas
- Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
- China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston - Kingston combines family history and legend to relate the stories of her male ancestors and their experiences as Chinese men and Chinese-American immigrants in various settings.
- Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
- The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
- China Boy, by Gus Lee
- Still Life with Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother by Helie Lee
- A Step From Heaven by An Na
- On Gold Mountain, by Lisa See - See's great-grandfather came to California in the 1860's. See uses interviews with her relatives and her own research to relate the experiences of Chinese immigrants of several generations, including the discrimination and other hardships they faced.
- The Late Homecomer: a Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
Novels featuring Mothers and Daughters
There are hundreds of novels about mothers and daughters, but the ones we list below have a similar reading experience or feel to The Joy Luck Club: they tell the stories of several generations, depict difference across cultures, and/or feature groups of women within generations.
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
- Empress of Weehawken by Irene Dische
- Everything Will Be All Right by Tessa Hadley
- Inventing Memory by Erica Jong
- How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Nonfiction featuring Chinese Culture and History
- Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang - The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, describing the life of the author's grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother, a member of the Communist elite, and the family's experiences during the Cultural Revolution.
- Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang - a memoir of the author's experiences during the Cultural Revolution of China. This book is suitable for middle-grade readers.
- The Rape of Nanking: the Forgotten Holocaust of WWII by Iris Chang
- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8 Lee - Lee goes well beyond her title, tracing not only how Chinese cuisine around the globe has been influenced by the various cultures it has encountered, but a fascinating look at the experiences of many new Chinese-American immigrants today and at the restaurant industry as a common first step into American society.
- Things That Must Not Be Forgotten : A Childhood in Wartime China by Michael David Kwan
- The People's Dynasty: culture and society in modern China - a Modern Scholar series of lectures by Robert J. Shepherd.
- The New Cultural Atlas of China, edited by Tim Cooke.
- The Changing Face of China: from Mao to Market, by John Gittings.
- Out of Mao's Shadow: the Struggle for the Soul of a New China, by Philip P. Pan.
- Red Sorrow, by Nanchu
- Voices from the Whirlwind: an Oral History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, edited by Feng Jicai
Literary San Francisco
- Amy Tan herself took the Washington Post on a tour of San Francisco in 2007.
- Dave Eggers - bases his literary empire here - including McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Believer magazine, and 826 Valencia, a tutoring center focusing on strengthening writing skills, which has spawned a national foundation.
- Armistead Maupin - Amy Tan credits his Tales of the City with teaching her about city life. Author Sean Wilsey's mother appears thinly veiled as a character in Maupin's Tales of the City. Oh the glory of it all is Wilsey's own memoir.
- Oakley Hall - taught Richard Ford and Michael Chabon (among others) at UC Irvine's writing program, and taught Amy Tan at the Squaw Valley Community. His Ambrose Bierce mystery series takes place in 1890's San Francisco.
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti - poet; co-wrote Literary San Francisco: a Pictorial History From its Beginnings to the Present Day.
- San Francisco Public Library’s San Francisco Authors Fiction Reading List
- Porchlight is San Francisco's Moth-like storytelling series.
- Litquake is San Francisco's annual literary festival. It awards the Barbary Coast Award, which was awarded to Amy Tan in 2009.
- The Joy Luck Club
- Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
- Raise the Red Lantern
Novels and Stories for Young Adults
- American Dragons: Twenty-Five Asian American Voices
- Sword, by Da Chen
- Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China during the Cultural Revolution, by Moying Li
- Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society, by Adeline Yen Mah
- Ties that Bind, Ties that Break, by Lensey Namioka
- Mismatch, by Lensey Namioka
- Bound, by Donna Jo Napoli
- Gateway, by Sharon Shinn
- Chu Ju’s House, by Gloria Whelan
- Seeing Emily, by Joyce Lee Wong
- The Diary of Ma Yan: the Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl by Ma Yan
- American Born Chinese, and others by Gene Leun Yang
- Little Green: Growing up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, by Chun Yu
Chapter Books For Younger Readers
- Books by Grace Lin, including Starry River of the Sky
- Little White Duck: a Childhood in China, a graphic novel by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez
- Books by Lenore Look, including the Alvin Ho series and the Ruby Lu series.
- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord.
- Dragon Wishes by Stacey Nyikos
- Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee
- Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, by Lisa Yee
- Books by Laurence Yep, including Child of the Owl and The Lost Garden.
Picture Books, Folktales, and Others for Young Readers and Listeners
Picture Books by Amy Tan:
- The Chinese Siamese Cat
- The Moon Lady
- Daisy Comes Home, by Jan Brett
- Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim Bridges
- The Hunter: a Chinese folktale, retold by Mary Casanova
- Two of Everything: a Chinese folktale, retold by Lily Toy Hong
- My First Chinese New Year, by Karen Katz
- 1, 2, 3, Go! by Huy Voun Lee
- Bringing in the New Year, by Grace Lin
- Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! , by Grace Lin
- A New Year’s Reunion, by Yu Li-Qiong
- Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic, by Ginnie Lo
Picture books by Lenore Look:
- Henry’s First-Moon Birthday
- Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding
- Yeh-Shen: a Cinderella story from China, retold by Ai-Ling Louie
- Beautiful Warrior: the Legend of Nun’s King Fu, by Emily Arnold McCully
- The Pet Dragon: a story about Adventure, Friendship, and Chinese Characters, by Christoph Niemann
- Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk out of China, by Deborah Noyes
- Red is a Dragon, by Roseanne Thong
- The Luminous Pearl: a Chinese folktale, retold by Betty L. Torre
- Lin Yi’s Lantern: a Moon Festival Tale, by Brenda Williams and Benjamin Lacombe
- Apple Pie 4th of July, by Janet S. Wong
- Hannah is my Name, by Belle Yang
- Dragon Prince: a Chinese Beauty and the Beast tale, by Laurence Yep
- Coolies, by Yin
Books by Ed Young:
- The NEA's Big Read website has a Reader's Guide and more information about the book and the author.
- The Chinese in California: San Francisco's Chinatown An introduction to San Francisco's Chinatown on the Library of Congress website