Award-winning Author Amy Tan Will Speak at Baylor’s Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities on Sept. 29

Author Amy Tan
Author Amy Tan (Photo by Rick Smolan-Against All Odds Productions)
Sept. 18, 2014

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Contact: Terry Goodrich,(254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Sept. 18, 2014) — The New York Times-bestselling author Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, will discuss her new book, The Valley of Amazement, and also the value of the humanities during the Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities at Baylor University on Monday, Sept. 29.

The free lecture, “An Afternoon with Amy Tan," will be at 3:30 p.m. in Room 510 of Cashion Academic Center in Hankamer School of Business, corner of South Fourth Street and Speight Avenue. After the lecture, which is open to the public, Tan will sign copies of her books.

Tan is “one of the leading authors of our day, having offered, with The Joy Luck Club, among her other works, a story that transcends cultural boundaries in a delightful and thoughtful way, brush-stroked with wry humor and poignant moments that reveal each character's pursuit of self-understanding,” said Alden Smith, Ph.D., co-chair of the Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities Committee and associate dean of the Honors College at Baylor.

Publishers Weekly wrote that " one will deny the pleasure of Tan's seductive prose and the skill with which she unfolds...many-layered narrative."

Born in the United States to immigrant parents from China, Tan rejected her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist, turning to writing instead.

After college, she worked as a language development consultant and as a corporate freelance writer. In 1985, she wrote the story "Rules of the Game" for a writing workshop, which formed the early foundation for The Joy Luck Club, which was her first novel. Published in 1989, the book explored the relationship between Chinese women and their Chinese-American daughters, and it became the longest-running The New York Times bestseller for that year. It received many awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and was made into a major motion picture for which Tan co-wrote the screenplay.

Other novels by Tan include The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter and Saving Fish from Drowning, all bestsellers. Tan also is the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate; and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat.

Tan was the creative consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy-nominated PBS television series for children, which has aired worldwide. In 2014, Tan was awarded the Lawrence Sanders Award in Fiction. Her work has been translated into 35 languages, from Spanish, French, and Finnish to Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew.

For more information, call (254) 710-2667 or (254) 710-6036.


The Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities were established in 1982 with a financial gift from Virginia B. Ball of Muncie, Indiana. She named the lecture series in honor of her mother, Mrs. John A. Beall, and Lily Russell, former dean of women at Baylor, both Baylor alumnae of the Class of 1910. Mrs. Ball subsequently funded the establishment of the Beall Poetry Festival in 1993, encouraging contemporary poetry. The purpose of the lectures is to provide an opportunity for Baylor students and faculty to meet and hear lecturers renowned in the humanities. Past lecturers have included poet Maya Angelou, journalist Bill Moyers and Nobel Prize winner for Literature Czeslaw Milosz.

The Beall-Russell Lectures Committee is led by Smith and and Kim Kellison, Ph.D., associate professor and interim chair in the department of history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. The committee is composed of faculty representatives across the Humanities at Baylor University.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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