“The Joy Luck Club” or “The White Tiger”?

It is the time of the school year when we get the possibility to immerse ourselves into the literary world of the English language. I love English literature, simply because there are so many creative publications to discover, and moreover, we aren’t restricted only to native English-speaking writers. Now that English is commonly known all around the world, anyone with enough enthusiasm, regardless where they come from, can publish their work in English.

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For those of you who might not recognize the first author- Amy Tan is a daughter of American Chinese immigrants, born in California in 1952. She makes an impression of a very wise and intellectual woman. In the interview she speaks about how hard it was for her as a child, to cope with the death of her brother and father within one year. She explains that moving to Switzerland wasn’t just a whim- it was a way to escape the problems and bad memories which were holding them back in California. I like the fact that she included members of her family in her books, she was very open about how they behaved and what their life really looked like.

However, this isn’t the first time I hear about this author. I was introduced to her work in the previous school year. After reading a short story written by her (you can find my blogpost about it here!) my knowledge of what it is like to be an immigrant in America really has expanded. The story we were introduced to last year, really caught my interest and I’ve been coming back to it ever since. In a way, it gave me the confidence to stand up for myself and keep fulfilling my dreams, no matter what others opinions were- just like the girl from the story.

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Therefore, when I found out that Tan’s book was one of the two we can choose, I made up my mind right away. However, I didn’t reject the other choice, without finding out more about the plot in the book. Aravind Adiga, born in 1074, is an Indo-Australian writer and journalist. He received the 2008 Man Booker Prize for his first ever novel, namely “The White Tiger”. His parents, who hailed from Mangalore were of Kannadigian origin, while Aravind was born in Chennai (Madras). He began studying in India, but later emigrated together with his family to Sydney, Australia, where he continued his education.

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His career began as an intern in an English-language international daily newspaper with a special emphasis on business and economic news (Wikipedia), where he published about the stock market and investment. However, he has always wanted to be a writer. In an interview, he mentions that “The White Tiger” is a story “of a man’s quest for freedom”. The story focuses on the social and political situation, but in Adigas view, the main character is trying to understand that all of this is a trap and that he somehow has to escape it.

The plot does sound gripping, especially with what is happening in the political world today. However, my choice lies in “The Joy Luck Club”, mainly because I got really absorbed by the Chinese culture and I want to find out more about the author and her life. I hope this is a good decision and that I will enjoy reading the book.

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