Cookie, January 25, 2010 (view all comments by Cookie)
Choosing my favorite or best book of the past decade was truly difficult, but this one came to mind first and I'm sticking with it. This is a wonderfullly woven group of non-fiction pieces that provide a tapestry-like picture of Amy Tan's life as a writer, the daughter of an odd and amazing mother, a person in an ever-changing world. Her writing-life theme includes, e.g., a chapter on the "dreaded second book." Also are pieces on turning point, pinnacle moments--tragic loss, her Mom's mental struggles, her own medical challenges, a flood--and a lot of fun and wonder of her coming-of-writing-age time and the important people and events throughout. As a non-fiction writer myself, I was and continue to be inspired by Ms. Tan's skill at interlocking spirits and ghosts with dogs and husbands. Yes, this is my pick for the decade.
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takingadayoff, January 3, 2010 (view all comments by takingadayoff)
The Opposite of Fate belongs to a genre that doesn't exist except in my mind: non-fiction written by novelists. The novels of Amy Tan, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Miriam Keyes, and others aren't my cup of tea. But I love their memoirs, musings, advice, books reviews, and other non-fiction.
In The Opposite of Fate, Tan tells how she became a novelist, how she cheated death at Lake Tahoe, how she happened to be at NBC studios on September 11, 2001. She includes an award-winning essay she wrote at age eight and tells how she reluctantly became lead singer in a bad rock band. She tells stories with the skill of a novelist, and so what if these stories just happen to be true?
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by Publishers Weekly,
"[A] powerful collection that should enthrall readers of The Joy Luck Club and Tan's other novels."
"No matter how much readers already revere Tan, their appreciation for her will grow tenfold after experiencing these provocative and unforgettable revelations."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[A] wry but bracing take on life and writing....An examined life recalled with wisdom and grace."
Delve into the stories from Amy Tan's life that inspired bestselling novels like The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement
Amy Tan has touched millions of readers with haunting and sympathetic novels of cultural complexity and profound empathy. With the same spirit and humor that characterize her acclaimed novels, she now shares her insight into her own life and 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 tragedy and comedy to the present day and her arrival as one of the world's best-loved novelists. Whether recalling arguments with her mother in suburban California or introducing us to the ghosts that inhabit her computer, The Opposite of Fate offers vivid portraits of choices, attitudes, charms, and luck in action--a refreshing antidote to the world-weariness and uncertainties we all face today.
Internationally bestselling novelist Amy Tan's first work of nonfiction reveals personal stories of her life and family, and of faith and fate. A "New York Times" Notable Book. Photos throughout.
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