Tan’s first novel will be the 11th selection for the Community Read project, which was founded in 2010 in honor of Virginia Yerxa, whose longstanding mission was to promote literacy to Colusa’s youth.
The book-in-common project for Colusa County expects to draw hundreds of members of the community around Tan’s first work of fiction, which is an epic tale of four mothers, four daughters, and four families, told by Tan with wit and sensitivity, said Stacey Costello, VYCR spokeswoman.
“It’s a beautifully written book, and it has held up well over time,” Costello said.
“The Joy Luck Club” tells the story of four Chinese immigrant women in 1949 San Francisco, who meet weekly to play mahjong, eat, and talk about what they left behind in China.
Costello said Tan’s novel examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters, and entices readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.
Following a decade of VYCR books-in-common, with only two women authors featured, Costello said Tam’s book fits a very timely bill at this year’s selection. Not only has “The Joy Luck Club” received mostly critical praise for 30 years, but Tan released a recent memoir entitled “Where The Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir.”
As with all VYCR selections, the community will come together for a variety of activities in the days leading up to Virginia Yerxa Day on April 25.
Events are still in the early planning stages, Costello said, but will include a book discussion structured in a think tank environment, as is common for all VYCR selections. Activities are also being planned that celebrate mothers and daughters and other fun themes in the book, such as food and culture.
“The Joy Luck Club” is available at Davison Drug & Stationary and all branches of the Colusa County Free Library system.
The community is encouraged to read this contemporary classic, and to consider parent-child relationships, family dynamics, and cultural legacy.
“It’s really a fantastic read and it’s neat to see how the mother-daughter theme plays out,” Costello said.
Readers are also encouraged to follow VYCR on Facebook and Instagram, or online at virginiaread.net. υ