Features Comprehensive coverage of reading Part I gives students a friendly and non-threatening introduction to reading and reading literature.
Marie Booth Foster brings us back to the mother-daughter agon. Hamilton discourses on astrology in Amy Tan. Shadows of the canonical are elaborated by Lisa M. Dunick in regard to all of Tan to date. The passage haunts me because it could fit equally well into the early Jewish American literature of my youth, two-thirds of a century ago.
She yanked me by the arm, pulled me off the floor, snapped off the TV.
She was frighteningly strong, half pulling, half carrying me toward the piano as I kicked the throw rugs under my feet. She lifted me up and onto the hard bench. I was sobbing by now, looking at her bitterly. Her chest was heaving even more and her mouth was open, smiling crazily as if she were pleased I was crying.
Only one kind of daughter can live in this house.
As I said these things I got scared. I felt like worms and toads and slimy things were crawling out of my chest, but it also felt good, as if this awful side of me had surfaced, at last. I wanted to see it spill over.
This has the power of simplicity and of universality, though its style is a touch inadequate to its anguish. The daughter, understandably in flight from a love so possessive that it could destroy, is also obsessed by an unwarranted yet inevitable guilt.
And yet she must rebel, since the musical genius that her mother demands is simply not there. I remember acquaintances of my own childhood, in the later s in the east Bronx, who suffered agonies of enforced violin lessons, as though each one of them could revive the musical tradition of Jewish Odessa.
I still bless my long-dead mother for letting me alone, so that I could sit on the floor in a corner to read endlessly, which is all that I have ever wanted to do.
The image again is universal, being as much Homeric and Virgilian as Chinese. Whatever the future course of her work will be, she at least has joined Maxine Hong Kingston in breaking a new road, doubtless at considerable inner cost.
The novel was nominated for the prestigious American Book Award. As the s came to a close, Chinese American writer Amy Tan became an overnight celebrity. The reviews of The Joy Luck Club in the major media have mirrored its popular success.
Journal of Culture and the Arts, Volume 1 We might also note the enthusiasm of Esquire: About a subject so universal? Thus, the reviewers have sung the praises of The Joy Luck Club, insisting that Amy Tan has written a story which, underneath its Chinese ornamentation, is the same for all of us.
The combination of accolades and appropriations that have greeted The Joy Luck Club invites immediate comparisons with Maxine Hong Kingston, who was lionized by feminists and by the literati, but who also was criticized in some Asian American political and literary circles.
Kingston, they insisted, only energized the dominant Orientalist discourse in the United States Chin The relationship of the United States to Asia is, of necessity, being revamped.
At the same time, and not coincidentally, the position of Asians and Asian-Americans in the United States is rapidly evolving. The last 15 to 20 years have brought significant numbers of Asian Americans—now defined as the model minority—into the middle class, and into increasingly visible positions in the intellectual and economic elite.
It involves the assumption, within that general tolerance, that diversity does not mark stark differences in interests and power among groups. Ellen Rooney analyzes this assumption of universality in her discussion of pluralism in literary theory: The possibility that readers might have interests that stand as a theoretical limit to their persuasion is never considered.
In this environment of the appropriation and containment of Asian American history, serious questions are being raised about who or what Tan represents, and about the impact of her like-it-or-not role as the new spokesperson for Asian Americans.
The Joy Luck Club is, after all, a novel centered on economically successful families, most of whom were of the upper class in China and, who manage, despite language barriers and hardships, to become financially secure in the United States.
The issue of representation is a tricky one. To which community is Tan responsible? The Chinese American community? Chinese Americans who have become professionals?
At the most basic level, who or what Tan or any other writer represents will be inevitably altered by the context in which her work is viewed. In fact, the novel fits all these categories, and innumerable others.
This is not to imply that literature cannot also be cultural information or representation.The list below includes courses that originate in Comparative Literature as well as a large number of courses that originate in other departments and are cross-listed here in in Comp Lit.
Asian American literature did not begin in the s with Amy Tan's The Joy We will read the work of playwrights including Ayad Akhtar, Ping Chong.
The Personal Dimension of Reading Literature. Personal Response and Critical Thinking. Writing to Learn. Keeping a Journal or Reading Log. Double-Entry Journals and Logs.
The Social Nature of Learning: Collaboration. Personal, Not Private. Ourselves as Readers. Different Kinds of . In the short story "Two Kinds," by Amy Tan. Amy Tan displays two different kinds of daughters, the ones who are obedient and the ones who aren't obedient. I believe that the story is about the differences between the mother and the daughter.
Fifty remarkable short stories from a range of contemporary fiction authors including Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more, selected from a survey of more than five hundred English professors, short story writers, and novelists.
“Sugar Sisterhood”: Situating the Amy Tan Phenomenon T he sensational success of Amy Tan’s first novel, The Joy Luck Club (), is the stuff of publishing legend. Before the shrewd eye of agent Sandra Dijkstra spotted a potential winner, Tan was entirely unknown to the literary world.
From memoir to journalism, personal essays to cultural criticism, this indispensable anthology brings together works from all genres of creative nonfiction, with pieces by fifty contemporary writers including Cheryl Strayed, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, and more.