The Hundred Secret Senses: A Novel

Front Cover
Penguin, Oct 17, 1995 - Fiction - 368 pages
13 Reviews
The Hundred Secret Senses is an exultant novel about China and America, love and loyalty, the identities we invent and the true selves we discover along the way. Olivia Laguni is half-Chinese, but typically American in her uneasiness with her patchwork family. And no one in Olivia's family is more embarrassing to her than her half-sister, Kwan Li. For Kwan speaks mangled English, is cheerfully deaf to Olivia's sarcasm, and sees the dead with her "yin eyes."

Even as Olivia details the particulars of her decades-long grudge against her sister (who, among other things, is a source of infuriatingly good advice), Kwan Li is telling her own story, one that sweeps us into the splendor, squalor, and violence of Manchu China. And out of the friction between her narrators, Amy Tan creates a work that illuminates both the present and the past sweetly, sadly, hilariously, with searing and vivid prose.

"Truly magical...unforgettable...this novel...shimmer[s] with meaning."--San Diego Tribune

"The Hundred Secret Senses doesn't simply return to a world but burrows more deeply into it, following new trails to fresh revelations."--Newsweek
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

I am a fan of Amy Tan's but this may be her "oddest" premise, involving reincarnation and a double story line. Ultimately it's about belief, loyalty, love and hope. But it did not capture me as her other works have done. Read full review

Review: The Hundred Secret Senses

User Review  - Lara - Goodreads

I enjoyed the book, however I really felt that it was two different stories that never really came together. Or not really in a way that seemed to the level of what should be for a writer that gets as ... Read full review

All 13 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

THE GIRL WITH YIN EYES
FISHER OF
THE DOG AND THE
THE GHOST MERCHANTS HOUSE
LAUNDRY
FIREFLIES
THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES
THE CATCHER OF GHOSTS
HELLO GOODB
THE SEVENTH
BIG MAS PORTRAIT
THE YEAR OF NO FLOOD
SIXROLL SPRING CHICKEN
THE ARCHWAY
THE VALLEY OF STATUES
WHEN HEAVEN BURNED

KWANS FIFTIETH
III
KWANS KITCHEN
NAME CHANGE
THE BEST TIME TO EAT DUCK EGGS
YOUNG GIRLS WISH
WHEN LIGHT BALANCES WITH DARK
IV
THE FUNERAL
ENDLESS SONGS
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children’s books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which has been adapted as Sagwa, a PBS series for children. Tan was also the co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club, and her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Tan, who has a master’s degree in linguistics from San Jose University, has worked as a language specialist to programs serving children with developmental disabilities. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.

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