“Your Only Shame is to Have Shame”
Every individual in this world faces some type of problem through out their lives, and everyone overcomes them in different ways. People sometimes release their stress and problems through writing what they feel, and by writing they feel they go somewhere else. Amy Tan, a Chinese American, struggled with her true identity which influence her works which mainly focus on identity, the Chinese American dream, and family struggles. Amy Tan had a childhood full of ups and downs, and they are all part of her stories and poems. She overcame many obstacles in her life and learned many lessons that are all reflected in her works. Many of Tan’s works are about personal experiences she had and about her family. Although Tan admits that she never thought about becoming an author, “I was Chinese. I was a girl. It was as preposterous as a Chinese girl dreaming of becoming president of the United States.” (Kramer, 6) Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California on February 19th, 1952. Her parents, John and Daisy Tan were both Chinese immigrants. Tan’s mother had an arranged marriage by her parent and married an abusive husband with whom she had three daughters. She divorced him and moved to the United States, leaving her daughters and life behind in China. This experience was a confession Daisy made to Amy when she was already fifteen years old. Tan’s father and older brother died of brain tumors within six months of each other. Their death was a terrible irony since they were caused by brain cancer, because Tan’s parents had hoped that her only daughter would be a brain surgeon. Tan attended Linefield College in Oregon in 1969 and then transferred to San Jose State University; through out her life Tan’s friends considered her to be a “workaholic”. In 1974 she married Louis DeMattei, who also attended San Jose State University studying law. “Endgame” was the first story published by Tan followed by “The Joy Luck Club”. All of her works were...
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