Category Archives: Tan


Tan’s The Moon Lady

“The sad lute music began again. And now I saw the poor lady standing against the bright moon. Her hair was so long it swept the floor, wiping up her tears. An eternity had passed, for this was her fate: to stay lost on the moon, forever regretting her own selfish wishes.”

Did you know Amy Tan, renowned author of novels including The Hundred Secret Senses and The Kitchen God’s Wife, also writes children’s books? Tan’s book, with colorful illustrations by Gretchen Schields, is adapted from The Joy Luck Club. One rainy day, a grandmother tells her three American granddaughters a story about the Moon Festival in China and how wishes are fulfilled. What a sad image to paint — this lady forever wiping her tears with her long hair! The Moon Lady is a haunting tale for children six years and up.


Tan’s Joy Luck Club

“Over the years, she told me the same story, except for the ending, which grew darker, casting long shadows into her life, and eventually into mine.”

Aren’t you curious what comes next? I read Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club many years ago but remember it for sentences like this in which family mysteries unfold and layers are peeled back. A story need not be a suspense, chapters need not end in cliff hangers. In the hands of a good storyteller, the reader is compelled to keep reading. I think this sentence is strong because Tan punctuates it with “mine,” making us wonder what shadows reach into her life. What non-suspense books couldn’t you put down?