I have been a fan of Amy Tan ever since The Joy Luck Club came out. For several years I included the book in my American novel class at a small midwestern college. I was also fortunate enough to hear Amy Tan speak and was charmed by her presence, her humor and her frankness. At the end of her program she introduced her audience to her husband and her two little dogs. This book has given me even more insight into her personality and writing technique. It has prompted me to reread The Joy Luck Club and several of her other novels, watch again the movie of the Joy Luck Club and to order via paperback swap The 1999 Best American short stories which she edited. She explained in The Opposite of Fate... her process and criteria for chosing those stories. This kind of memoir could be dry and hard to get through,but Amy Tan's The Opposite of Fate:Memories of a Writing Life reveals the lively and endearing personality of the author. I highly recommend it.
Fascinating insights into Tan's "world" and where she gets her story ideas. Some nice anecdotes though the mother-daughter examples she cites start to wear thin after awhile. Still, was worth reading. She really is a pioneer in Asian-American literature.
You may think of me as Amy basher but her 'companion' book to her thoughts and life while writing her books is her worst work.
I loved all of her fiction books, and will continue to look forward her next one. But this book is sketchy, FRAGMENTED, CONTRADICTORY and obviously written in very dark mood.
In one chapter Amy is critical of writing about the real life and the next she describes all the horrible way her relatives and friends keep dying, (well so do mine, but I don't consider that to be a good dinner topic). She self interviews correcting some of the worst net blunders and the next moment she quotes from her books in reference to her life saying in short the books are from real life but are totally made up...? Then the book switches to some distubing memories and the next minute Amy is rethorically dscussing the political corectnes of todays writers and how she doesn't like to be boxed in and labeled as minority writer. I do agree with her on the point of political corectnes dictating who can write what and how it should be written. But she has only written books based on her experiences as asian american, which (pardon me) makes her asian-american writer...
It is nice to see all that is behind Amy Tan's books, (and great books they are) but this one is very fragmented diary, glued together, but the pieces don't quite fit which makes it very hard to read. I expected much better form her.
If you read all her books, you might as well read this one, but don't buy it. Chances are it will not be a keeper.
I find myself wanting to order copies for my friends because my copy is being passed around so much. I love that Amy Tan does her own narration she makes you feel like you are a part of all her stories & then you get to feel that your sitting right next to her understanding and laughing in a way only a best friend could.
She gives so much filler information, the back & forward to her books. In "The Kitchen God's Wife" I really wanted a final chapter telling about a return trip. She actually gives you that trip in this book but hearing her tell you the story is priceless compared to reading it.
I laughed so hard listening to parts of this I loved it, "the F words" was my favorite part not my children's as I of course made them listen to it they were shocked beyond belief - my son said that simply could not be true lol! my older daughter laughed in sad recognition.
It is filled with happy and sad, profound & even horrific events that have filled Amy's life but I think it's a must listen too for anyone who enjoys Amy's books - and I do mean listen I wouldn't enjoy this nearly as much had I read it. I enjoyed the reflection and emotion of her voice making no mistake of the meaning behind her words.
bestsellling novelist Amy Tan shares the story of how she escaped the curses of her past to make a future of her own. She takes us on a journey from her childhood of both tragedy and comedy to present day. I really enjoyed this book
Second time round with Amy Tan. I had listened to this personal memoir in the distant past and now it all has come back to me. Read, listen and love these ladies of China. Amy Tan's upbringing in a household filled with traditions and beliefs of both Fate and Faith warms the heart. Mama is a hoot. Life after "Joy Luck Club" Mama, the survivor, proves to be endearing with a wry and caustic manner as the hub of this story. The family endures years of hardship but remains triumphant under the rein of a slightly crazy and manipulative Chinese matriarc. The "Opposite of Fate" is for the reader to discover. I laughed and cried at places and found that the mystical foundation rooted in ghosts and ghostly communications opened up possibilities of life after death. Read it!
Betty N. (bettybn) reviewed The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life on
If you love Amy Tan books, you will love this autobiography! She tells of overcoming her own childhood tragedies to become the great writer that she is. I love all the Amy Tan books and admire her abilities as a writer. And it was great to read about her as a person.
This is a non-fiction work that takes the reader from novelist Amy Tan's childhood to her current position as a bestselling author. It is a very interesting tale told with humor and humility. A very good read.
What a wonderful collection of writings! Amy reads her own work about the writing process, including what it was like to work with film directors and producers on turning The Joy Luck Club into a movie. Highly recommended!