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Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club : A Novel

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In 1949, four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club--and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades. A celebrated novel in the tradition of Alice Adams and Margaret Atwood from the bestselling author of The Kitchen God's Wife.

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In 1949, four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club--and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades. A celebrated novel in the tradition of Alice Adams and Margaret Atwood from the bestselling author of The Kitchen God's Wife.The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew it was going to be incredible. For me, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime reading experiences that you cherish forever. It inspired me as a writer and still remains hugely inspirational.” —Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians

From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers—featuring cover art by Jessica Hische


It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My Ántonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves.

T is for Tan. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined.

Specifications

Language
English
Series Title
Penguin Drop Caps
Publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
Book Format
Hardcover
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
352
Author
Amy Tan
Title
The Joy Luck Club
ISBN-13
9780143124849
Publication Date
April, 2014
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.80 x 5.50 x 1.10 Inches
ISBN-10
0143124846

Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.1)out of 5 stars
5 stars
33
4 stars
33
3 stars
17
2 stars
5
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
4 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
The East is where thi...
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Im not the target aud...
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.
Most helpful positive review
4 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
The East is where thi...
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Im not the target aud...
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 88 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Tans glorious novel p...

Tan's glorious novel portrays the complex relationships between four mothers (all Chinese immigrants) and their American-born daughters. Each of the mothers came to America as young women who had survived tragedy in their native China. In their efforts to create better lives for their daughters, they created many misunderstandings as well. The daughters struggle for independence, but also long for their mothers' love and understanding. The novel is complex, especially since there are so many major characters. However, it is well worth the effort to keep everyone straight. This novel doesn't only speak to the experience of immigrants; mothers and daughters everywhere should read this book. Highly recommended!

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Tans glorious novel p...

Tan's glorious novel portrays the complex relationships between four mothers (all Chinese immigrants) and their American-born daughters. Each of the mothers came to America as young women who had survived tragedy in their native China. In their efforts to create better lives for their daughters, they created many misunderstandings as well. The daughters struggle for independence, but also long for their mothers' love and understanding. The novel is complex, especially since there are so many major characters. However, it is well worth the effort to keep everyone straight. This novel doesn't only speak to the experience of immigrants; mothers and daughters everywhere should read this book. Highly recommended!

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

What else can I say, i...

What else can I say, its a beautiful book. Each story surprises me, weaves a beautiful tale of these 8 women and keeps me turning the pages. Absolutely beautiful.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Finished the audio of ...

Finished the audio of this beautiful story of 4 Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco who form The Joy Luck Cub. 40 years later story and history continue. Amy Tan examines deep connections between mothers and daughters. A very moving account and a true classic. Sad but story ends on a very positive note.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I havent picked this ...

I haven't picked this up since high school, but I was thrilled to get around to re-reading this. Each sentence is poetry; the Chinese customs, language, nuances, and characters float right off the page. It's a beautiful book to read. I also love the differences between the mothers and daughters; at first you think it's generational, but it's all about being raised American, in a new land with new customs. The Joy Luck Club tells of four Chinese women who immigrated to America in their youth and their four daughter who were raised American. The daughters can't understand where their parents came from, not the struggles, the humiliations, the secrets. They are too wrapped up in themselves and ashamed of their mothers and their odd beliefs. As the stories unfold (alternating chapters feature different perspectives); the mothers reminiscing about how they were raised and persevered, the daughters start to realize that they are more then their differences, they have a resilience, a strength in spirit that needed to be overcome, but deep down they are closer to their mothers than they ever thought possible. Storytelling at it's finest.

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