Award-winning writer of The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan joins MasterClass to teach a class on Fiction, Memory, and Imagination. Tan will share her personal and most challenging life experiences to demonstrate how members can tap into their own thoughts and memories to inspire creative writing.
“As the author behind six New York Times bestselling novels, Amy is one of the most celebrated and memorable voices in modern American literature,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In her MasterClass, Amy courageously bares her soul to illustrate her very personal and deep writing process. She’ll take our members on a self-discovery journey to understand how personal memories, observations about life and the most challenging experiences can become the greatest sources of inspiration in writing.”
Tan will ask members to dig deep into their minds and hearts and question who they are to determine what they choose to write about and why. Writers of all levels will learn how to think about the phases and process of writing, find their unique voice, approach revisions, and craft compelling beginnings and endings. Sharing journal entries and rejection letters, Tan will reveal lessons learned from her own failures and mistakes, including how she deals with procrastination and motivation. Tan will also reminisce on the film adaptation of her bestselling novel The Joy Luck Club. Filled with practical tools and exercises, concrete examples, metaphors, and motivation, Tan’s class will leave members inspired and eager to use their newfound skills as they put pen to page.
“You want to write a story, but you’ve never done this before. Where do you begin? Instead of giving you rules or a process that you have to follow, my MasterClass will tell you the reasons why I write so that you can think about the reasons why you’re going to write,” Tan said. “We’re going to look at memory. We’re going to look at imagination. We’re going to look at the nature of your voice and, most importantly, we’re going to find these things that will make you want to write for the rest of your life.”
Born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrant parents, Tan visited China for the first time in 1987 and met her half-sisters from her mother’s previous marriage. This discovery of her mother’s earlier life sparked the idea for her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, which spent more than 40 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1993, it was adapted into a film for which Tan served as the co-producer and co-writer, receiving a Writers Guild of America Award and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts nomination. Known widely for tapping into her family’s personal history to inform her work, Tan has also authored the bestselling novels The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish From Drowning and The Valley of Amazement. Additionally, she’s written two memoirs, The Opposite of Fate and Where the Past Begins, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, the latter of which was adapted into an Emmy-nominated television series. Tan was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Orange Prize, and has won many awards including the Gold Commonwealth Award. Most recently, she was the subject of the feature documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.
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