Born: 19 February 1952
Birthplace: Oakland, California
Best known as: Author of The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan is a Chinese-American author from San Francisco who wrote the 1989 best-seller The Joy Luck Club. The daughter of immigrants, Tan spent most of her childhood in central California. In the late 1960s her father and one of her two brothers died of brain tumors and Tan's mother moved the family to Europe. After finishing high school in Switzerland in 1969, Tan returned to the United States and eventually ended up in California again, where she studied literature and linguistics at San Jose State University and earned a masters degree in 1973. She worked as a business writer and then began publishing short stories in 1986. The Joy Luck Club recounted the family tales of four modern Chinese-American women; it was widely hailed for its depiction of the Chinese-American experience of the late 20th century. Tan's other books have also fared well, including two children's books and a non-fiction collection, The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings (2003). Her novels include The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), The Hundred Secret Senses (1995) and Saving Fish From Drowning (2005).
Extra credit: Tan has sung with the Rock Bottom Remainders, the informal rock band that includes fellow writers Stephen King and Dave Barry.
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