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Encyclopedia > The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
Author Amy Tan
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons
Publication date 1989
Media type Print (Hardback and Paperback)
Pages 288 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-399-13420-4

The Joy Luck Club (1989) is a best-selling novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on four Chinese-American immigrant families who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the Chinese game of Mahjong for money while feasting on a variety of foods. There are sixteen chapters divided into four sections, and each woman, both mothers and daughters, (with the exception of one mother, Suyuan Woo, who dies before the novel opens) share stories about their lives in the form of vignettes. While The Joy Luck Club was usually described as a novel by critics, to Tan it is a collection of short stories.[citation needed] Amy Tan (February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships as well as relationships between Chinese American women and their immigrant parents. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... G. P. Putnams Sons was a major United States book publisher based in New York City, New York. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... For the novel, see The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club is a 1993 American movie about the relationships between Chinese-American women and their Chinese mothers. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... Amy Tan (February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships as well as relationships between Chinese American women and their immigrant parents. ... Chinese Americans (Chinese language: 美籍華人 or 華裔美國人) are Americans of Chinese descent. ... Immigration is the act of moving to or settling in another country or region, temporarily or permanently. ... This article is about the four-player game of Chinese origin. ... In theater and script writing, vignettes are short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give one impression about a character, an idea, or a setting. ...

In 1993, the novel was adapted into a feature film directed by Wayne Wang and starring Ming-Na, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, France Nuyen, Rosalind Chao, Mei Juan Xi, Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin, Lisa Lu, and Vivian Wu. The screenplay was written by Amy Tan and Ronald Bass. Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... For the novel, see The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club is a 1993 American movie about the relationships between Chinese-American women and their Chinese mothers. ... Wayne Wang (Chinese: 王穎; Hanyu Pinyin: ; born January 12, 1949) is a Chinese American film director. ... Ming-Na (born November 20, 1963) is a Chinese-American actress. ... Lauren Tom (born August 4, 1961) is an American actress and voice actress. ... Tamlyn Tomita (Born January 27, 1966, Okinawa) is a Japanese-born American actress who has appeared in many Hollywood films and television series. ... Nuyen during the late 1950s France Nuyen (born July 31, 1939 in Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France as France Nguyen Vannga) is a French actress. ... Rosalind Chao or Chao Jyalin (Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; born September 23, 1964 is an American actress, born in Anaheim, California. ... Kieu Chinh (real name Chinh Thi Nguyen) is an actress who first starred in a Vietnamese production called Hoi Chuong Thien Mu (The Bells of Thien Mu Temple) (1957). ... Tsai Chin (Chinese: ; pinyin: ), (born November 30, 1936), also known as Irene Chow, is a Chinese-born actress living in England. ... Lisa Lu (born December 5, 1931 in Peiping, China) is a Chinese-American actress and documentary producer. ... Vivian Wu (鄔君梅, pinyin: WÅ« JÅ«nméi) is an actress. ... Amy Tan (February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships as well as relationships between Chinese American women and their immigrant parents. ... Ronald Bass (March 26, 1942 – ), born Ronald Jay Bass and sometimes credited as Ron Bass, is a prolific U.S. screenwriter. ...


International names

Chinese: (Traditional) 喜福會 (Simplified) 喜福会 pinyin: Xi Fu Hui Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ...

Plot summary and Reception

As the novel opens Jing-Mei "June" Woo has just lost her mother, Suyuan, to an aneurysm. She is asked by her mother's three friends to take Suyuan's place in their Mah-Jong foursome and their 'Joy Luck Club.' The novel unfolds with interspersed chapters by each of the three remaining members of the Club and their American-born daughters. Lindo and Waverly Jong began their war over Waverly's childhood chess stardom and the effects it has on every aspect of Waverly's adult life. An-Mei Hsu recounts the tragedy that gave her strength, and worries that her daughter, Rose, lacks the same determination. Lena St. Clair tries to care for her eccentric mother, while her mother recounts a secret history that has allowed her to see more deeply than her daughter imagines. Through it all, June Woo tries to piece together the stories that her own mother can no longer tell, and to be faithful to her mother's memory despite their sometimes rocky relationship. Although the Joy Luck Club was and still is popular amongst Asian Americans and non-Asian Americans, it still has met some criticisms. Many have criticized the novel for its organization and that the various stories do not make the novel seem centralized. Also, there has been criticism in terms of the content of the book, for Yueh Ho has stated that the novel "has an outrageous portrayal of the Chinese people" and that the Chinese in the book are "stereotypical and unrealistic." Post surgical photo of brain aneurysm survivor. ... Chapter has multiple meanings. ... In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of a person, as opposed to being normal. ...


  • An-Mei Hsu
  • Lindo Jong
Lindo is a strong-willed woman, a trait her daughter Waverly attributes to her having been born in the year of the Horse. When Lindo was only twelve, she was forced to move in with a neighbor's young son, Huang Tyan Yu. She married him when she was sixteen. She soon realized that her husband was just a little boy at heart and had no sexual interest in her. Lindo began to care for her husband as a brother, but her cruel mother-in-law expected Lindo to produce a grandson soon. She restricted Lindo's activities, eventually ordering her to remain on bed rest until she could conceive and deliver a child.
Determined to escape this situation, Lindo carefully observes the other people in the household and eventually forms a clever plan to escape her marriage without dishonor. She manages to convince her young husband's family that he was actually fated to marry another woman, and that her marriage to Huang Tyan Yu will only bring bad luck to the family.
Freed of her first marriage, Lindo decides to immigrate to America. She marries a Chinese-American man named Tin Jong and has three children: sons Winston and Vincent, and daughter Waverly.
Lindo experiences regret over losing some of her Chinese identity by living so long in America (she is treated like a tourist on a visit to China), and expresses concern that Waverly's American upbringing has caused a barrier between them.
  • Su-Yuan Woo
  • Ying-Ying St. Clair
Ying-Ying was born in the year of the Tiger, a ferocious animal, but was told by her wealthy family that girls should be meek and gentle. She develops a passive, fatalistic personality and learns to repress her own feelings. Ying-Ying marries a vulgar playboy named Lin Xiao, not out of love, but because she believes this is her fate. After their marriage, her husband becomes abusive and openly carries on affairs with other women. Ying-Ying discovers she is pregnant at about the same time her husband abandons her for an opera singer. She takes revenge by aborting her unborn son and goes to live with poor relatives in the country. After 10 years, she decides to move to the city.
While working in the city, Ying-Ying meets an American man named Clifford St. Clair. He falls in love with her, but Ying-Ying finds herself incapable of strong emotion and cannot return his love. He courts her for a full 4 years before she agrees to marry him after learning that Lin Xiao has died, which she took as the proper sign to move on. She allows him to control most aspects of her life, mistranslating her words and actions, and even changing her name to "Betty." Ying-Ying and Clifford have a daughter, Lena.
Ying-Ying is horrified when she realizes that Lena has inherited her behaviors and trapped herself in a loveless marriage with a controlling husband. She finally tells her daughter her own history to convince her that she must take control of her own life. Lena soon files for divorce.

Chinese astrology (占星術 pinyin: zhan4 xing1 shu4; 星學 pinyin: xing1 xue2; 七政四餘 pinyin: qi1 zheng4 si4 yu2; and 果老星宗 pinyin: guo3 lao3 xing1 zong1) is related to the Chinese calendar, particularly its 12-year cycle of animals (aka Chinese Zodiac), and... Marriage is a relationship that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ... A persons mother-in-law is the mother of his wife or her husband. ... This article is about the domestic group. ... This article is about human pregnancy. ... Parturition redirects here. ... For other uses, see Child (disambiguation). ...


  • Jing-mei "June" Woo
Jing-mei has never fully understood her mother and seems directionless in life. At the beginning of the novel, June is chosen to replace her mother's seat in the Joy Luck Club after her mother's death. At the end of the novel, June is still trying to deal with her mother's death, and she visits China to see two half-sisters whom her mother had been forced to abandon when the Japanese attacked China.
June narrates the largest number of stories, narrating both her own tales and speaking as best she can for her mother. June is caught between traditional China and modern America. As seen in the first story, June often finds herself not knowing what to do in the face of more traditional, older Chinese, like her mother's friends from the Joy Luck Club. Although most of the women in the book are friends with one another, June and Waverly have never gotten along. They were childhood rivals, and even as adults Waverly insults and criticizes June in front of their parents. June suffers from feelings of inferiority, but begins to regain her confidence once she returns to playing the piano, a hobby she abandoned as a child.
  • Rose Hsu Jordan
Rose had always been held responsible for her younger siblings (Matthew, Mark, Luke and Bing), until a family trip where her youngest brother Bing drowned. Rose's mother proves how much she cares about her son by throwing her most prized possession into the ocean. Rose always try her best to please her husband, Ted, and be a perfect mother for their young daughter. Rose is shocked when she learns that Ted has been having an affair with another woman and that he wants a divorce to move in with her. He even wants to sell their house in the suburbs of San Francisco, although Rose hoped to continue living there with her daughter. Yet after her mother tells her the story of Rose's maternal grandmother, who never knew worth until death, the formerly weak-willed Rose becomes determined to assert herself. When Ted comes for the divorce papers, she tells him that he can't just throw her out of his life, comparing herself to weeds in his garden, once so beloved, now unkempt and filthy. She wants to hire a good lawyer and fight for possession of the house, which she eventually wins.
  • Waverly Jong
Waverly is an independent-minded and intelligent woman, but is annoyed by her mother's constant criticism. Well into her adult life, she finds herself restrained by her subconscious fear of letting her mother down. She and June were childhood rivals, and their mothers often compared their accomplishments. Waverly was a chess prodigy and gained some fame for her skill at the game, but quit playing in order to get back at her mother after an argument. When Waverly later tried to take up chess again, she found that she had lost her talent. After a failed marriage with a man named Marvin, which she believed her mother poisoned, Waverly lives with her Caucasian boyfriend, Rich and her daughter Shoshana, whom she had with Marvin. Although she thinks her mother doesn't approve of Rich, Waverly still plans on marrying him but later discovers that her mother did not disapprove of Rich and that she had been misreading her mother all along.
  • Lena St. Clair
Lena was born to an Irish-American father and a Chinese mother. Her mother has the ability to predict things that occur in their family before they happen. Lena's husband, Harold, is a Caucasian man who demands financial "equality" in their marriage. They are co-workers, but Lena is an associate while Harold is a partner so he has a larger salary than she does. However, he insists that all household expenses be divided equally between them. A visit from Lena's mother leads her to contemplate whether she truly wants to stay with Harold. When an unstable end table (built by Harold) falls over, breaking the vase that was standing on it, Lena begins to realize how passive she has become. She had foreseen that the table would fall (her mother had even warned her about it), but had done nothing to prevent the vase from breaking.

This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...

Table of contents

(Name of chapter is followed by the name of the narrator whose perspective is used for that chapter)

Feathers from a Thousand Li Away

  • "The Joy Luck Club," Jing-mei "June" Woo
  • "Scar," An-Mei Hsu
  • "The Red Candle," Lindo Jong
  • "The Moon Lady," Ying-Ying St. Clair

The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates

  • "Rules of the Game," Waverly Jong
  • "The Voice from the Wall," Lena St. Clair
  • "Half and Half," Rose Hsu Jordan
  • "Two Kinds," Jing-mei "June" Woo

American Translation

  • "Rice Husband," Lena St. Clair
  • "Four Directions," Waverly Jong
  • "Without Wood," Rose Hsu Jordan
  • "Best Quality," Jing-mei "June" Woo

Queen Mother of the Western Skies

  • "Magpies," An-mei Hsu
  • "Waiting Between the Trees," Ying-Ying St. Clair
  • "Double Face," Lindo Jong
  • "A Pair of Tickets," Jing-mei "June" Woo

External links

  • Teacher's Guide at Random House

  Results from FactBites:
The Joy Luck Club ecards and Amy Tan free cliff notes (371 words)
The Joy Luck Club, was published in early spring in 1989 by G. Putnam's Sons and presents a story of four Chinese women and their American-born daughters.
The club contimued in the United states in order to lift her friends spirits from the Japanese invasion going on at the time.hoping to bring luck to her friends and family and finding joy in that hope.
Thus, Tan wrote the joy luck club not only to help her sort out her cultural heritage but to learn how she and her mother could get along.
  More results at FactBites »



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