Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. Her best-known work is The Joy Luck Club, which has been translated into 35 languages. In 1993, the book was adapted into a commercially successful film.
Tan was born in Oakland, California. She is the second of three children born to Chinese immigrants Daisy (née Li), and John Tan, an electrical engineer and Baptist minister. When Tan was 15 years old, her older brother Peter and father both died of brain tumors within a year of each other. Daisy moved Amy and her younger brother John Jr. to Switzerland, where Amy finished high school. During this period in her life, Amy learned about her mother's former marriage to an abusive man in China, of their four children (a son who died as a toddler, and three daughters) and how her mother was forced to leave her children from a previous marriage behind in Shanghai. This incident provided the basis for Tan's first novel, 1989 New York TimesbestsellerThe Joy Luck Club. In 1987 Amy traveled with Daisy to China. There, Amy met her three half-sisters.