Rediscover: The Joy Luck Club

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, which follows four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco. In 1949, four mothers formed the Joy Luck Club at the First Chinese Baptist Church, where they play mahjong for money and share stories. Tan's novel focuses on three of these mothers (one is recently deceased) and their four daughters. The Joy Luck Club is separated into four sections. The first recounts each mother's tumultuous life in China, the second tracks the childhoods of their daughters, the third follows the daughters as adult women and the final section returns to the mothers.

The Joy Luck Club was adapted into a 1993 feature film directed by Wayne Wang and starring Ming-Na, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, France Nguyen, Rosalind Chao, Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu and Vivian Wu. Tan's other novels include The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), The Hundred Secret Senses (1995), The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001), Saving Fish from Drowning (2005) and The Valley of Amazement (2013). Her most recent book is Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir (HarperCollins). The Joy Luck Club was last published by Penguin Classics in 2016 ($17, 9780143129493). --Tobias Mutter

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