Amy Tan


Novelist

About

Also Known As
Amy Ruth Tan
Birth Place
Oakland, California, USA
Born
February 19, 1952

Biography

Asian-American novelist turned screenwriter/producer with her first novel "The Joy Luck Club" (1993). Tan began writing professionally in 1983 as a freelance business writer for IBM, AT&T and Apple Computers. In 1989 Tan published her first novel, "The Joy Luck Club," a rich, poignant story detailing the lives of Chinese women and their American-born daughters. The novel quickly became a...

Family & Companions

Louis DeMattei
Husband
Tax attorney. Italian-American.

Bibliography

"The Bonesetter's Daughter"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (2001)
"The Hundred Secret Senses"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1995)
"The Moon Lady"
Amy Tan (writer) and Gretchen Schields (illustrator), Macmillan (1992)
"The Kitchen God's Wife"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1991)

Biography

Asian-American novelist turned screenwriter/producer with her first novel "The Joy Luck Club" (1993). Tan began writing professionally in 1983 as a freelance business writer for IBM, AT&T and Apple Computers. In 1989 Tan published her first novel, "The Joy Luck Club," a rich, poignant story detailing the lives of Chinese women and their American-born daughters. The novel quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation before the publishers realized they had a potential major bestseller. With a little marketing push, the novel went on to garner near universal acclaim and sell over two million copies. A mainstay of "The New York Times" bestseller list for 75 weeks, "The Joy Luck Club" was published in 23 languages.

Tan's second novel "The Kitchen God's Wife" (published in 1991), told the story of an American-born daughter and her immigrant Chinese mother and the secrets that comprised their lives. This novel was another runaway success and also became the number one bestseller on the "Times" list. The next year, Tan wrote (in conjunction with illustrator Gretchen Schields) a children's book, "The Moon Lady." She made her screenwriting and producing debut with the film adaptation of "The Joy Luck Club" (1993). Directed by Wayne Wang (best known for "Chan Is Missing," 1982), the Disney-produced feature revealed an ethnically specific but universal story rarely shown before in the nation's multiplexes. The film opened to glowing reviews and healthy box-office returns.

Life Events

1983

Worked as a freelance business writter for IBM, AT&T, and Apple Computers

1989

Published debut novel, New York Times bestseller The Joy Luck Club

1991

Wrote second novel The Kitchen God's Wife

1992

Wrote first children's book The Moon Lady

1993

Made screenwriting and producing debut with Wayne Wang directed adaptation "The Joy Luck Club"; made cameo as house party guest

1996

Third novel The Hundred Secret Senses (1995) shortlisted for Orange Prize for Fiction

1996

Co-wrote non-fiction book Mother with Maya Angelou and Mary Higgins Clark

2001

Second children's book Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (1994) adapted into PBS animated series

2003

Published non-fiction book The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings

2007

Featured in documentary "Hollywood Chinese"

2011

Returned to novels with Rules for Virgins

Family

Daisy Tan
Mother
Born in China c. 1915; died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on November 22, 1999 at age 83.
John Tan
Father
Baptist minister. Died in January 1968 of a brain tumor.
Peter Tan
Brother
Eldest brother; died of a brain tumor in July 1967 at age 16.
John Tan
Brother

Companions

Louis DeMattei
Husband
Tax attorney. Italian-American.

Bibliography

"The Bonesetter's Daughter"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (2001)
"The Hundred Secret Senses"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1995)
"The Moon Lady"
Amy Tan (writer) and Gretchen Schields (illustrator), Macmillan (1992)
"The Kitchen God's Wife"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1991)
"The Joy Luck Club"
Amy Tan, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1989)