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The Joy Luck Club: A Novel Kindle Edition
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"Beautifully written...a jewel of a book." —The New York Times Book Review
"Powerful...full of magic...you won't be doing anything of importance until you have finished this book." —Los Angeles Times
"Wonderful...a significant lesson in what storytelling has to do with memory and inheritance." —San Francisco Chronicle
“Reading it really changed the way I thought about Asian-American history. Our heritage has a lot of difficult stuff in it — a lot of misogyny, a lot of fear and rage and death. It showed me a past that reached beyond borders and languages and cultures to bring together these disparate elements of who we are. I hadn’t seen our history like that before. At that time, we hadn’t seen a lot of Asian-American representations anywhere, so it was a big deal that it even existed. It made me feel validated and seen. That’s what’s so important about books like that. You feel like, Oh my god, I exist here. I exist in this landscape of literature and memoir. I’m here, and I have a story to tell, and it’s among the canon of Asian-American stories that are feminist and that are true to our being. It’s a book that has stayed with me and lived in me.” —Margaret Cho
About the Author
- ASIN : B004IYISSK
- Publisher : Penguin Books; 1st edition (September 21, 2006)
- Publication date : September 21, 2006
- Language : English
- File size : 1277 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 343 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,186 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Four immigrant Chinese women, Suyuan, An-Mei, Lindo and Ying Ying, survivors of their traumatic pasts, each relate their own stories in vivid detail, in the hope of teaching their American daughters to believe in themselves and achieve a better life in America.
Having grown up in America, the daughters, Jing Mei, Rose, Waverly, and Lena, in turn relate their struggles to understand their mothers, and the cultural differences and divisions between them.
The book is descriptive, emotional, warm, and intelligent, as well as informative, Should not be missed! Recommended.
By Pattie Meng on July 8, 2018
Wonderful how Amy Tam weaves the tales from one daughter back to the mothers story, and you become invested in each of their lives. A rich and life affirming look at relationships. Loved it.
The story follows four older Chinese ladies who play Mah Jong together called the Joy Luck Club and their daughters. Each chapter has a theme centering around culture and the generation gap within the family.
The first chapter for example “Feathers From A Thousand Li Away” deals with how Chinese traditions and heritage shaped the lives of the mothers using a metaphor of a story about a swan one of them bought back in Shanghai, China. The bird was a duck that wanted to become a goose, which symbolized transformation and dreams of a better life. The woman took the bird to America, where she had a daughter, and wanted to pass it down to her, which meant passing her dream onto the next generation. The woman however never did that because she got caught up living in America, leaving a disconnect between the two.
The main plot starts in the next chapter where one of the mothers died and her daughter is asked to take her place in the Joy Luck Club playing Mah Jong. By reflecting upon the mother Tan tells the story of how she left China during the 1949 Revolution and came to America to escape the Communists. This also establishes a narrative style that flips between when the women were in China, later when they were in the U.S. raising their children, and then when the kids were grown up. The game also provided a link between the generations and their past and present.
As you can tell the book is heavy in symbolism. One can still read it without breaking that all down, but it definitely helps in understanding everything Tan was trying to convey.
Top reviews from other countries
Each character had such an interesting story and back story. I felt I had been picked up & placed into each life because it was so well told. There were happy moments and sad moments between the mothers and their daughters.
There are a lot of characters, and sometimes I struggled to remember who was who but I'm like that with practically any story than has more than 3 main characters. It's my downfall.
I'm glad I read this, it was interesting to read about the different cultures, and insight to how others live/lived their lives from past to present, how traditions change or how people can be shaped by the country they grow up in if it differs from their parents.
But I think her greatest triumph is her delineation of the character of Harold-that was really something to which I could so relate
Although the story was predominantly Chinese, and the description of traditions etc differs greatly from western ones, it shows that people throughout the world are more alike than different.