Amy Tan was born to Chinese immigrants who worked hard to fulfill their own version of the American Dream. After tragedy befell her family when she was a teenager, a tumultuous period followed in which Tan and her mother often clashed. This text reveals how biographical elements like these largely influenced the recurring themes in many of her novels. Tan?s unique view on the Chinese-American experience and mother-daughter relationships, along with her use of setting, point of view, and a unique writing style are closely examined through excerpts from the books as well as critical analysis. Quotations from Tan herself help readers gain a better understanding and appreciation for this critically acclaimed author.