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Amy Tan explores identity, trauma, relocation and raising first-generation children in America in her best selling book

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

This is the December meeting of the Talk of Iowa Book Club. Host Charity Nebbe and her guests have been reading "The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan.

Published in 1989, the novel tells the stories of four mothers, all immigrants to the United States from China and four of their daughters, first generation Americans and baby boomers, immersed in a culture that could not be more different from that of their mothers. In the book, the mothers fled China following the Japanese invasion that began in 1931. Each woman has a difficult and traumatic past, but they found each other at a church in the United States and formed “The Joy Luck Club.” They, along with their husbands and later their children, gathered each week to share their lives, feast and play games.

Interested in joining the next meeting of the Talk of Iowa Book Club? The 2022 Book Club reading list is now available and our February selection is "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving. Join the discussion February 15, 2022. You can also chat about book club selections and other literary interests with Charity and hundreds of other readers in the Talk of Iowa Book Club Facebook Group.


  • Xixuan Collins, retired professor of biology, author of "Flowing Water, Falling Flowers"
  • Kristine Munoz, professor in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese, Communication Studies, University of Iowa
  • Lynn Nugent, editor of the Iowa Review, University of Iowa
  • Jennifer Haylett, associate professor of instruction in the department of sociology and criminology, University of Iowa
Talk of Iowa Talk of Iowa Book ClubBooks & Reading
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa