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Author Amy Tan Coming to Johnson & Wales

Monday, April 16, 2012


Best-selling author Amy Tan will speak at Johnson and Wales in Providence this week on April 18.

Renowned Joy Luck Club and The Hundred Secret Senses author Amy Tan will be in Providence this week, as she join students, faculty and staff at Johnson and Wales University for the culmination of this year's Campus Reads program. Tan will deliver an evening lecture that is open to the public at 7pm on April 18.

Now in its third year and sponsored by the John Hazen White School of Arts & Sciences, Campus Reads is a monthlong series of discussions, films and cultural activities centered around a single book. This year's series focuses on Tan’s best-selling book, Joy Luck Club, which focuses on the struggles and triumphs of 4 Chinese American families in San Francisco, CA. Previous selections include Helene Cooper’s House on Sugar Beach and Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process.

Amy Tan

Born in Oakland, CA, Tan is the second of three children born to Chinese immigrants Daisy (née Li), who was forced to leave her three daughters from a previous marriage behind in Shanghai, and John Tan, an electrical engineer and Baptist minister. (Her own parents' story inspired Tan's first novel, 1989 New York Times bestseller The Joy Luck Club). When Tan was 15 years old, her older brother Peter and father both died of brain tumors within a year of each other. Daisy moved Amy and her younger brother John Jr. to Switzerland, where Tan finished high school. During this period, she learned about her mother's former marriage to an abusive man in China, and of their four children, including three daughters and a son who died as a toddler. In 1987 Tan traveled with her mother to China and met her three half-sisters.

Tan's work

Translated into 35 languages and adapted into a successful film, The Joy Luck Club is certainly Tan's most well-known work. But the author has written several other bestsellers, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning. She also wrote a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings.  In addition to these, Tan has written two children's books: The Moon Lady (1992) and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat (1994), which was turned into an animated series which aired on PBS. Tan is also in a band with several other recognizable writers, called the Rock Bottom Remainders.

Amy Tan, Wednesday, April 18, 7pm, Schneider Auditorium, Johnson and Wales downtown Providence campus. Ms. Tan’s evening lecture and reception will be open to the public. Call 598-1400 for more information.

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