Amy Tan

Amy Tan (1996 Symposium in Sun Valley, Idaho)



In 1988, Amy Tan was earning an excellent living writing speeches for business executives. She worked around the clock to meet the demands from her many high-priced clients, but she took no joy in the work, and felt frustrated and unfulfilled. In her mid-thirties, she took up writing fiction. A year later her first book, a collection of interrelated stories called The Joy Luck Club was an international best-seller, and Amy Tan's life was changed forever. Only 20 years ago, a list of well-known American authors would have included virtually no Asian-Americans. Today Amy Tan is one of America's most popular novelists. Her subsequent books, The Kitchen God's Wife and The Hundred Secret Senses have been best-sellers, and the film of The Joy Luck Club was an unprecedented success. Although they are primarily concerned with the lives and concerns of Asian-American women, her stories have found an enthusiastic audience among Americans of all backgrounds, and have already been translated into 23 languages.