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Amy Tan

Amy Tan was born in 1952, in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrants John and Daisy Tan. Her family eventually settled in Santa Clara. When Tan was in her early teens, her father and one of her brothers died of brain tumors within months of each other. During this period Tan learned that her mother had been married before, to an abusive husband in China. After divorcing him, her mother fled China during the Communist takeover, leaving three daughters behind who she would not see again for nearly forty years.After losing her husband and son, Daisy moved her family to Switzerland where Tan finished high school. During these years, mother and daughter argued over what Tan should do in college and afterwards. Tan eventually followed a boyfriend to attend college in San Jose, where she earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English and linguistics, despite her mother's wish that she study medicine.After Tan married her boyfriend, Lou DeMattei, she began to pursue a Ph.D. in linguistics, but she abandoned this endeavor to work with developmentally disabled children. Later, Tan struck out as a freelance business writer. Although she was successful, writing for corporate executives did not fulfill Tan. She began to write fiction as a creative release.Meanwhile, her mother suffered a serious illness. Tan resolved to take a trip to China with her mother if she recovered. In 1987, after Daisy Tan returned to health, they traveled to China to visit the three daughters that Daisy had not seen for several decades and the three sisters Tan had never met. The trip provided Tan with a new perspective on her mother, and it proved to be the key inspiration for her first book, The Joy Luck, a collection of sixteen interlocking stories about the conflicts between Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-raised daughters. Soon after its publication in 1989, The Joy Luck Club garnered enthusiastic reviews, and it remained on the New York Times bes...

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