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The Joy Luck Club (1993)

Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: The Joy Luck Club
Amy Tan’s 1989 Novel Vs the 1993 Wayne Wang Film

To finish out AAPI month the Margos talk about Amy Tan and her debut novel The Joy Luck Club which became a sensation when it was released in the late 1980s. The Oakland, California native was raised by Chinese immigrant parents who instilled a strong ethic in her and wanted her to take advantage of being an American while remaining Chinese in her heart and actions. Tan found this very tough, especially after her father & brother died and she wound up in Switzerland at the age of 15.

We talk about Tan’s teenage years and her strained relationship with her mother which later became fodder for her first novel. In 1989 the hardcover book sold over 275, 000 copies, and the paperback rights went for $1.2 million. It was just a matter of time to get the book adapted into a film.

The Joy Luck Club is the story of four immigrant families who are all based in San Francisco with the daughters struggling to emotionally connect with their strict mothers. The women are complex and have many secrets between them that go all the way back to their time in China. Each has a story about why they wanted to come to America and how challenging it is to raise a child in a new culture while retaining your principles and values.

The film was directed by Wayne Wang who hired the best Asian actors in the business to play the Chinese American cast. The film was highly successful but it was still decades before an all Asain cast had a hit film in America (Crazy Rich Asians.) There were several differences between the novel which had eight different stories to tell and the movie which has just over an hour and 30 minutes run time.

So between the two, which did we like more? The book or the movie?

In this ep the Margos discuss:
Amy Tan’s background and the inspiration for her book
The different women in China and San Francisco and how they all relate to each other
The changes between the novel and the 1993 movie
The cast: Rosalind Chao (Rose,) Lauren Tom (Lena,) Tamlyn Tomita (Waverly,) Ming-Na Wen (June,) Tsai Chin (Lindo,) Kieu Chinh (Suyann,) Lisa Lu (An-Mei,) France Nuyen (Ying-Ying,) Andrew McCarthy (Ted,) Christopher Rich (Rich,) Michael Paul Chan (Harold,) and Russell Wong (Lin Xiao.)

Clips used:
Rose confronts Ted
The Joy Luck Club 1993 Trailer
Rich screws up dinner
Lena and Harold argue
Ted and his mother argue
June and her mother unite
Music by Rachel Portman

Book Vs. Movie is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more podcasts you will love Frolic.Media/podcasts

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Margo D. @BrooklynFitChik www.brooklynfitchick.com brooklynfitchick@gmail.com
Margo P. @ShesNachoMama https://coloniabook.weebly.com/

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