Rebecca's Reviews > The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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Apr 19, 07


After I read The Joy Luck Club (summer required reading before sophomore English in high school), I started pestering my mom about her abandoned children in mainland China. I also declared that I would name my two kids after the aforementioned abandoned children: Spring Flower and Spring Rain.

My mom laughed in my face about the latter, saying no self-respecting Chinese would give their kids such pedestrian names, and would be mock-pissed about the former.

The truth is that The Joy Luck Club got some things right and got a lot of other things dramatic. The stuff that rang the most true with me was the angsty rivalry between Waverly and June; particularly June's meltdown at the piano recital (a consistent paranoia of mine throughout childhood) and Waverly's accusations toward her mother (a fantasy of mine growing up).

I now realize that some of my issues with my mom were probably planted by reading The Joy Luck Club; others were valid insofar as they existed within the collective repressed thoughts of first-generation Asian-Americans forced to compete against the highest standards: their parents'.

I think The Joy Luck Club is important because it was prominent in the mainstream and it finally allowed ABCs (American-born Chinese) to recognize themselves in a major work of literature. The problem is that the book came out almost twenty years ago and there have been nearly no major additions to the genre. I hate for people to think JLC is definitive about our culture and experience, as influential as it is.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Amanda Thank you for this great review.


Kaitlyn Nicole In response to your comment about there not being much else by way of American Chinese-based literature, I disagree. Lisa See is and will remain one of my most favorite authors! Some of the Joy Luck Club reminds me of her work and I suggest you look into her novels. :)


Hazel Wow...very wonderful comment!!:)


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