The Basics: One of America’s most well-known authors, the Chinese-American Oakland native writes novels that deal with the experience of the Chinese as a family unit here in America. Her first novel was The Joy Luck Club, which some may know from its movie adaptation. Her Mother’s hardships inspired the novel and served as the basis for Tan’s work moving forward. Unfortunately, she is suffering from late-stage Lyme’s disease, but still continues to write. Her last novel was released in 2013.
Why I Chose Them: I’m ashamed to say I’ve only read The Joy Luck Club and as I write this, I’m rectifying that. A woman with the caliber of work she has can’t only have one of their books read. In my mind, she’s the Maya Angelou of the Chinese-American community and say that only having read one book. She writes with such authority y and authenticity about the Chinese-American experience that you can’t ignore her. It’s poetic in how she deals with the most tragic of things and somehow finds beauty in them.