DOB: February 19, 1952
Birthplace: California, United States
Ethnicity: Chinese American
Residence: California, United States
Born in the US to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan failed her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She settled on writing fiction. Her novels are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter and Saving Fish From Drowning, all New York Times bestsellers and the recipient of various awards. She is also the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, and numerous articles for magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, and National Geographic. Her work has been translated into 35 languages from Spanish, French and Finnish to Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew.
Ms. Tan serves as co-producer and co-screenwriter with Ron Bass for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. She was the creative consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy nominated television series for children, which has aired worldwide including in the UK, Latin America, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore. Her story in the New Yorker, “Immortal Heart,” was performed on stages throughout the US and France. Her essays and stories are found in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks and they are assigned as required reading in many high schools and universities. She appeared as herself in the animated series “The Simpsons.” She performed as narrator with the San Francisco Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing an original score for “Sagwa” by composer Nathan Wang.
Ms. Tan has lectured internationally at universities including Stanford, Oxford, Jagellonium, Beijing and Georgetown, both in Washington DC and Doha, Qatar. The National Endowment for the Arts has chosen The Joy Luck Club for its “Big Read” program. Ms. Tan also serves as the Literary Editor for the Los Angeles Times magazine, West.
She created the libretto for The Bonesetter’s Daughter, which premiered in September 2008 with the San Francisco Opera. Ms. Tan’s other musical work for the stage is limited to serving as lead rhythm dominatrix, backup singer and second tambourine with the literary garage band, The Rock Bottom Remainders, whose members include Stephen King, Dave Barry and Scott Turow. In spite of her dubious talent, their yearly gigs have managed to raise over a million dollars for literacy programs.