The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

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The Hundred Secret Senses is an exultant novel about China and America, love and loyalty, the identities we invent and the true selves we discover along the way. Olivia Laguni is half-Chinese, but typically American in her uneasiness with her patchwork family. And no one in Olivia's family is more embarrassing to her than her half-sister, Kwan Li. For Kwan speaks mangled English, is cheerfully deaf to Olivia's sarcasm, and sees the dead with her "yin eyes."

Even as Olivia details the particulars of her decades-long grudge against her sister (who, among other things, is a source of infuriatingly good advice), Kwan Li is telling her own story, one that sweeps us into the splendor, squalor, and violence of Manchu China. And out of the friction between her narrators, Amy Tan creates a work that illuminates both the present and the past sweetly, sadly, hilariously, with searing and vivid prose.

"Truly magical...unforgettable...this novel...shimmer[s] with meaning."--San Diego Tribune

"The Hundred Secret Senses doesn't simply return to a world but burrows more deeply into it, following new trails to fresh revelations."--Newsweek

About Amy Tan

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Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, which has now been adapted as a PBS production. Tan was also a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club. Her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
Published October 1, 1995 by Penguin Books. 418 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Forced to share a bed, Olivia and Simon briefly reconcile, but then he disappears, leaving Olivia to fret over his fate while she also begins grudgingly to accept that she too remembers being killed among these cave-studded mountains.

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Publishers Weekly

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Tan's novel of the conflicts between two very different Chinese American sisters spent 12 weeks on PW's bestseller list. (Dec.)

Oct 28 1996 | Read Full Review of The Hundred Secret Senses

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Los Angeles Times

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Out of guilt, Olivia pretends to share Kwan's superstitions and listens to her "wacky" tales about a former life during the 1860s Taiping Rebellion, which ended, she says, when Manchu soldiers killed her and her closest friend, a young American woman missionary.

Oct 30 1995 | Read Full Review of The Hundred Secret Senses

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