The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan

I was recently given this book by a new friend of mine – a bookie such as myself – so I just had to read it. I had also seen the movie “Joy Luck Club” and really enjoyed it so I thought I would enjoy learning about the author. Mostly it made me want to pick up a few of her books to read. I’ve got them on my list!amy tan book

Genre: Memoir (398 pages)

Blurb: (from Goodreads): 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.

What I liked: I like the way Ms Tan writes. It is a very relaxed style and she doesn’t try and impress you with her vocabulary. As she mentions in this book, she writes as if her mother is reading it. I like that idea. The woman has had an interesting life, unlike myself. People would be bored reading about my life…bla, bla, bla. It was also interesting to learn a little about how she writes.  I have a little trouble reading books about other writers; it’s hard not to try and make comparisons but this one wasn’t too bad.

What I didn’t like: It was a little slow in parts, most notably the chapter that was taken from the introduction to a short story best of book that she “edited” (I’m not sure why they choose the term “edit” here because she didn’t edit the short stories, she picked which stories would go into this “best of” book.) Also, the chapter that is a copy of her commencement speech was somewhat entertaining but I’m not sure why it was included. Theses chapters seemed to be added just for filler.

Rating: 3.5/5

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