joyluckclub 78b55

Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” Remains Golden On 30th Anniversary

by BUST Magazine

The Joy Luck Club: A Novel
By Amy Tan
(Penguin Books)

Amy Tan’s bestselling novel turns 30 this year. Published at a time when Asian voices in American fiction were scant, The Joy Luck Club’s popularity and scope made it a modern classic. Its stories of four immigrant women from China and their American-born daughters feel so real that many assume the book is memoir masquerading as fiction. In a new foreword for this anniversary edition, the author examines the permeable border between fiction and fact. Tan shares her process and inspiration for writing the novel, with a nod to Louise Erdrich’s 1984 classic Love Medicine, and reveals some of the plotlines that took root in her own maternal lineage. Some events Tan believed she was fictionalizing even turned out to be more real than she knew—proving that “[like] a Geiger counter, fiction veers relentlessly toward truth.” (5/5)

By Laurie Cedilnik


The Joy Luck Club was republished for the 30th Anniversary on April 23, 2019. This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

More from BUST

“Crazy Rich Asians” Writer Leaves Franchise Over Pay Disparity

11 Books By Women To Read This November

BUST’s Top 25 Books Of 2017 (Spoiler, They’re All By Women)

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.