The Joy Luck Club was formed of four Chinese women recently moved to San Francisco who meet to eat dim sum, play mah-jong and to share stories. Forty years on they and their daughters tell wise and witty tales of hope, loss, family and history. Spanning pre-Revolutionary China to 1980s San Francisco, the women talk as secrets are spilled, mothers ...
The Joy Luck Club was formed of four Chinese women recently moved to San Francisco who meet to eat dim sum, play mah-jong and to share stories. Forty years on they and their daughters tell wise and witty tales of hope, loss, family and history. Spanning pre-Revolutionary China to 1980s San Francisco, the women talk as secrets are spilled, mothers boast and despair and daughters struggle with tangled truths.
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This book is great for insights of 4 different pairs of mother-daughter combinations. The author uses wonderful way to describe how culture and generation gap builk and torn through life time experience. Great book and highly recommended.
Jul 14, 2012
sweet, charming, light
i appreciate the work that went into crafting this book. i wouldn't quite call it a novel, nor is it a collection of stories. it's a fictionalization or an irrealistic rendering of survival narratives particular to "chinese american" women. more than that, it seems to be a working out of the mother-daughter relationships, the differences that arise and conflicts that shape the generations of women. in the end, the story is charming, but maybe a little reductive about some of the other important issues like race relations and lacks some depth of relationship. you'll feel good. ginger chicken soup for the soul.
Mary Jo G
Oct 27, 2011
Not a favorite
This book was difficult to understand. Even the second half which was the 'American' version didn't make much sense. I only bought it because my Asian friend said the movie was wonderful. I prefer books rather than movies but in this case it might just be the opposite.
Aug 5, 2010
Joy Luck Classic
A classic read. I will read and read again for years to come. Wonderful piece of art.
Apr 13, 2008
"The Joy Luck Club" is beautiful, moving, and keeps a strong sense of integrity in its portrayals of all the women contained in its pages. This is some seriously exquisite writing, for even though it is a novel which eschews "aboutness," I found myself unable to put it down. When I was reading it, my dad looked over my shoulder and remarked, "Isn't that a great book?" This book may be focused on Chinese women, but the truths it posits about generational differences are universal, crossing race and gender lines. I look forward to forgetting everything about this book so that I can rediscover it one day.
Publishers Weekly, 1990-05-04 ``Intensely poetic, startlingly imaginative and moving, this remarkable book will speak to many women, mothers and grown daughters, about the persistent tensions and powerful bonds between generations and cultures,'' praised PW . Author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1988-12-23 Intensely poetic, startlingly imaginative and moving, this remarkable book will speak to many women, mothers and grown daughters, about the persistent tensions and powerful bonds between generations and cultures. The narrative voice moves among seven characters. Jing-mei ``June'' Woo recounts her first session in a San Francisco mah-jong club founded by her recently dead, spiritually vital, mother. The three remaining club members and their daughters alternate with stories of their lives, tales that are stunning, funny and heartbreaking. The mothers, all born in China, tell about grueling hardship and misery, the tyranny of family pride and the fear of losing face. The daughters try to reconcile their personalities, shaped by American standards, with seemingly irrational maternal expectations. ``My mother and I never understood each other; we translated each other's meanings. I talked to her in English, she answered back in Chinese,'' says one character. A crippling generation gap is the result: the mothers, superstitious, full of dread, always fearing bad luck, raise their daughters with hope that their lives will be better, but they also mourn the loss of a heritage their daughters cannot comprehend. Deceptively simple, yet inherently dramatic, each chapter can stand alone; yet personalities unfold and details build to deepen the impact and meaning of the whole. Thus, when infants abandoned in China in the first chapter turn up as adults in the last, their reunion with the one remaining family member is a poignant reminder of what is possible and what is not. On the order of Maxine Hong Kingston's work, but more accessible, its Oriental orientation an irresistible magnet, Tan's first novel is a major achievement. First serial to Atlantic, Ladies' Home Journal and San Francisco Focus; BOMC and QPBC featured alternates. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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