Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Eight novels featuring intergenerational narratives about women

E. M. Tran writes fiction and creative nonfiction.

Her debut novel, Daughters of the New Year, is out this month from Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins. Her stories, essays, and reviews can be found in such places as the Georgia Review, Joyland Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Harvard Review Online, and more.

Tran spent an inordinate proportion of her adult life working towards an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Mississippi and a PhD in English & Creative Writing from Ohio University.

She is from and currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband and two dogs.

At Electric Lit Tran tagged eight novels "about family history passed down from mother to daughter," including:
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

In Amy Tan’s most famous work, The Joy Luck Club, four women, immigrants from China now living in San Francisco, struggle to raise their four daughters, first-generation women caught between traditional Chinese womanhood and individualist American values. This was the first book I read in which I saw a version of my own experience represented. These four mothers have held a regular game of mah jong for years, where they created community, preserved the shreds of their culture, and tried to soothe the ache of displacement. But, when Suyuan Woo passes away, her daughter June Mei Woo takes her place at the mah jong table, and is forced to confront all of her regrets brought forth by grief. The narrative moves through the perspective of each of these eight women, and has a reflective quality, each character looking back on their past lives and the growing pains of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, the miscommunications and hurt that festers in many well-intentioned decisions.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue