National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

To me, imagination is the closest thing we have to compassion. To have compassion you have to be able to imagine the lives of others, including people who are suffering, and people whose lives are affected by us.


Amy Tan, 2003 (Copyright Robert Foothorap)

Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club is itself a joyful study in luck. An intricately patterned novel whose author thought she was writing a short-story collection, it is also a mother-daughter saga by a writer whose own mother wanted her to be anything but a writer.

Published in 1989 by an unknown first-time writer, The Joy Luck Club became a reviewers' darling and then an international best seller. The novel tells the story of new waves of immigrants who are changing and enriching America.

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