Amy Tan (b. 1952)

Novelist. Tan, a daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in Oakland, California. She earned an MA in linguistics from San Jose State University and worked on programs for disabled children before becoming a freelance business writer. In 1987 she visited China for the first time. On returning to the United States, she set to work on a collection of interconnected stories about Chinese American mothers and daughters. The Joy Luck Club (1989) was an international success, and was translated into seventeen languages (including Chinese). Since then Tan has published several novels, including The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991), The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2001), and Saving Fish from Drowning (2005)—in addition to two children’s books and a book of nonfiction, The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings (2003), which explores lucky accidents, choice, and memory.