Amy Tan , an American writer, was born February 19, 1952 in Oakland, California several years after her parents emigrated to the U.S. from China. Citing her mother as "her inspiration," Tan explores the clash of traditional Chinese and American cultures in much of her work.
Tan is best known for her novel The Joy Luck Club, which later became a feature film. (Tan authored the screenplay.) Critics say that the book The Joy Luck Club is a novel but to Tan it is a collection of short stories. She has written several other books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses and The Bonesetter's Daughter, and a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. Her newest book Saving Fish From Drowning, explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition into the jungles of Burma. In addition, she has written two children's books The Moon Lady (1992) and The Chinese Siamese Cat (1994). She has appeared in a short spot on PBS encouraging children to write.
Born in Oakland, California to Chinese immigrants John (a Baptist minister) and Daisy (a Shanghai nurse), Tan was fourteen when her father and elder brother died of brain tumours. With her mother and younger brother Peter, Tan moved to Montreux, Switzerland shortly afterward. She received a master's degree in linguistics at San JosÃ© State University and her first job was as a children's speech therapist.
Tan's mother Daisy witnessed her mother committing suicide. Tan believed that her grandmother, her mother and herself all suffered from depression. Tan currently takes Zoloft to treat her bouts of serious depression . In 1985, after her psychiatrist fell asleep for the third time during one of their sessions, Tan quit therapy and took up fiction writing instead.
Since turning 40, Tan has been a member of the literary garage band Rock Bottom Remainders with Dave Barry and Stephen King, who dedicated his non-fiction book On Writing to her.
She has been married to Lou DeMattei since1974.
Tan has suffered from neurological Lyme disease since 1999, a struggle she has chronicled on her website and in interviews with the media. She has become an outspoken advocate on behalf of patients with the disease.