Amy Tan's 'Valley' goes deep into mother-daughter dynamic

November 3, 2013 12:21 PM

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Amy Tan's 'Valley' goes deep into mother-daughter dynamic

There's a surprise at the start of Amy Tan's new novel: The difficult mother — whose withheld affection shapes the protagonist's life — is not Chinese. Clever, strong-willed, tempestuous Lulu Mintern is white, raised in San Francisco before the turn of the 20th century.

Second surprise: The story of Lulu's Chinese-American daughter, Violet, unfolds in Shanghai. The immigrant experience in this novel goes the other way.

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