Books by Amy Tan
NPR stories about Amy Tan
Amy Tan's fans will find familiar themes in her new novel, The Valley of Amazement: mothers and daughters, multi-generational secrets, Chinese-American identity. But Jane Ciabattari says the new work, which centers on an American madam in Shanghai and her courtesan daughter, is more sophisticated than Tan's previous novels.
Speculation about her grandmother's life in China in the early 1900s provided Tan inspiration for her latest novel, out Tuesday. Valley is an opus that covers half of a tumultuous century, ranges across two continents and involves love, deceit, forgiveness and, ultimately, redemption.
In her new novel, Amy Tan sets a group of tourists off to Burma accompanied, in spirit, by a friend and guide named Bibi Chen — who mysteriously dies before the start of the trip. While Chen mirrors other characters of Tan's previous novels, Saving Fish From Drowning marks a departure from Tan's stories of close-knit Chinese-American families. Lynn Neary talked with Tan about her new direction.