Amy Tan (b. 1952) is the author of novels, children's books, essays, and a memoir. Her work has appeared in McCall's, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and other magazines. She is best known for her novel The Joy Luck Club (1989), which examines the lives of and the relationships between four Chinese American daughters and their mothers. The following selection was first delivered as a talk at a symposium on language in San Francisco in 1989.