The Joy Luck Club

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Article in Adult Fiction and Big Read categories.

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



For Children:

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

First-Generation, Second-Generation and other Immigrant Stories

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.

Nonfiction featuring Chinese Culture and History

Literary San Francisco

  • Porchlight is San Francisco's Moth-like storytelling series.

Feature Films

Novels for Young Adults

  • Sword, by Da Chen
  • Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society, by Adeline Yen Mah
  • Ties that Bind, Ties that Break, by Lensey Namioka

Chapter Books For Younger Readers

  • Seeing Emily, by Joyce Lee Wong
  • Starry River of the Sky, and others by Grace Lin
  • Little White Duck: a Childhood in China, a graphic novel by Na Liu and Andres Vera Martinez
  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord.
  • The Ruby Lu books, and the Alvin Ho books, and others by Lenore Look
  • Dragon Wishes by Stacey Nyikos
  • Millicent Min, Girl Genius, by Lisa Yee
  • Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time, by Lisa Yee
  • American Born Chinese, and others by Gene Leun Yang
  • Child of the Owl, by Laurence Yep
  • Dragon Child, by Laurence Yep
  • The Lost Garden, by Laurence Yep

Picture Books, Folktales, and Others for Young Readers and Listeners

External Links