You Are At: AllSands Home > Entertainment > People > Amy Tan biography
Amy Tan, author, was born to Chinese immigrants in Oakland, California. Her father, John Tan, came to America in 1947, and her mother, Daisy, immigrated in 1949. Her mother was forced to leave behind three daughters from a previous marriage. When Tan was fourteen, tragedy struck the family. Both her father and her eldest brother died of brain tumors. Following their deaths, Tan's mother's took her and her sister to Switzerland where she lived until after graduating from high school. She attended eight different colleges before receiving her B.A. and M.A. from San Jose University.

Tan's novels focus on Chinese-American women and the immigrant experience. Her work has been translated into 20 languages and have received critical acclaim. Her first novel, THE JOY LUCK CLUB, became 1989's longest running bestseller on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. It remained there for eight months. THE KITCHEN GOD'S WIFE and THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES made the list as well. Tan has written two children's books, THE MOON LADY and THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT. She is the member of a "vintage garage" rock 'n roll band called "The Rock Bottom Remainders" whose membership includes Stephen King, Robert Fulghum, Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, and Matt Groening. She lives with her husband, Lou DeMattei, in San Francisco, California.


1952 She was born in Oakland, California.

1973 She received her B.A. from San Jose University.

1974 She received her M.A. from San Jose University.; She married Louis DeMattei.

1976 She became a language development consultant to the Alameda County Association for Retarded Citizens.

1983 She became a freelance business writer.

1987 She took her Chinese immigrant mother to revisit China, meeting her two half sisters.

1989 THE JOY LUCK CLUB was published.

1991 THE KITCHEN GOD'S WIFE was published.

1992 THE MOON LADY was published.

1993 THE JOY LUCK CLUB was made into a feature film.

1994 THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT was published.

1995 THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES was published.