Armenian folklore has it that three apples fell from heaven: one for the teller of a story, one for the listener and the third for the one who ''took it to heart.'' What a pity heaven awarded no apple to the one who wrote the story down. For Amy Tan's splendid new novel abounds not only with tellers and listeners but with people who truly understand stories and people who preserve them.
''The Bonesetter's Daughter'' is divided into three sections. The first, set in present-day California, introduces us to Ruth Young, a Chinese-American woman whose 10-year relationship with the man she loves is deteriorating for reasons she doesn't understand. When her mother shows signs of dementia, Ruth suddenly becomes aware of what her mother's memory loss means: the disappearance of stories that will help Ruth understand her family and give her the sense that she is part of a story larger than her own. The middle section of the novel is the memoir written a few years earlier by Ruth's mother, LuLing, so that her daughter will know the truth about LuLing's life in China. The third section focuses once more on Ruth, and what she will do with the knowledge she has gained.
Causes Amy Tan Supports
Self Help for the Elderly
Squaw Valley Community of Writers
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Opera