Writer Amy Tan (1952-) is best known for her acclaimed book, Joy Luck Club (1989), a heartwarming story about four women, born in China, who came to America in the 1940s and raised daughters. Their club meets weekly to play mah jong, trade gossip, and celebrate life's sorrow and joy.
"I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength," Tan wrote. "Strongest wind cannot be seen."
Rich in Chinese culture, Tan's novel is universal in its appeal. "I don't see myself writing about cultural dichotomies, but about human connections," Tan revealed to Salon in 1995.
No matter what culture, daughters must continue to live up to parental expectations, just as mothers will continue to love their children unconditionally. "Someone said you hear words, but I always see things when I hear words," she explained.
Tan was born in Oakland, California and as a child once put a clothespin on her nose to try to change its Chinese shape to American. At age 15, both her father and older brother died of brain cancer within six months of each other.
Tan called reading her "refuge" and started writing fiction at 33. With Joy Luck Club, she was able to tap directly into the Chinese women's culture that filled her heart. "Part of my writing the book was to help me discover what I knew about my mother and what I knew about myself," she explained.
"What a luxury to do something you love to do."
Take a chance, luck will come afterwards.