Amy Tan: A Critical Companion

Amy Tan: A Critical Companion

Amy Tan: A Critical Companion

Amy Tan: A Critical Companion

Synopsis

Amy Tan has established a reputation as a major novelist of not only the Asian American experience but the universal experience of family relationships. With the publication of her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, which touched the hearts of millions of readers, Tan joined the ranks of major contemporary novelists. Adapting her brand of Chinese traditional talk story as a vehicle for exploring the lives of the mothers and daughters at the center of her novels, Tan allows readers to experience the lives of her characters from multiple perspectives in parallel and intersecting narratives. In this first full-length study of her work, E.D. Huntley explores the fictional worlds Tan has created in her three novels, The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, and The Hundred Secret Senses. Examining the characters, narrative strategies, plot development, literary devices, setting, and major themes, Huntley explores the rich tapestry created in each of the novels.

Excerpt

The authors who appear in the series Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers are all best-selling writers. They do not simply have one successful novel, but a string of them. Fans, critics, and specialist readers eagerly anticipate their next book. For some, high cash advances and breakthrough sales figures are automatic; movie deals often follow. Some writers become household names, recognized by almost everyone.

But, their novels are read one by one. Each reader chooses to start and, more importantly, to finish a book because of what she or he finds there. The real test of a novel is in the satisfaction its readers experience. This series acknowledges the extraordinary involvement of readers and writers in creating a best-seller.

The authors included in this series were chosen by an Advisory Board composed of high school English teachers and high school and public librarians. They ranked a list of best-selling writers according to their popularity among different groups of readers. For the first series, writers in the top-ranked group who had received no book-length, academic, literary analysis (or none in at least the past ten years) were chosen. Because of this selection method, Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers meets a need that is being addressed nowhere else. The success of these volumes as reported by reviewers, librarians, and teachers led to an expansion of the series mandate to include some writ-

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