Author Amy Tan to discuss creativity at CSU–Pueblo October event

Award-winning author Amy Tan will share her philosophy on creativity with the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus community as part of the Pueblo City-County Library District’s Big Read-All Pueblo Reads events in October. Tan will present a session on creativity from 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom.

CSU-Pueblo students will be familiar with Tan’s work as approximately 1,000 students enrolled in the 60 sections of English 099, 101, and 102 will have read a work by the author prior to her Oct. 27 campus visit. Students enrolled in English 099 are reading the essay "Mother Tongue," while students enrolled in English 101 and 102 will read The Joy Luck Club, "Mother Tongue," "Two Kinds," and/or "Family Ghosts Hoard Secrets that Bewitch the Living." Several other English courses are including an Amy Tan component including English 201, 303, and several creative writing courses.

Attendance at the CSU-Pueblo appearance of Ms. Tan is limited to CSU-Pueblo faculty, students, staff, Southern Colorado Writing Project teachers/consultants, and TanTastic Weekend ticket holders. For more information on the TanTastic Weekend package, contact Pueblo City County Library Community Relations Assistant Tabitha Davis, 562-5606 or For those beyond the campus community, Tan also will present a free public performance at the Rawlings Library, 101 E Abriedo, Ave., at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.

CSU-Pueblo Associate Professor and Chairperson of English and Foreign Languages Katherine Frank said the visit by Tan represents a tremendous opportunity for the University’s students as well as teachers involved with the Southern Colorado Writing Project (SCWP).

“It is important for readers to be able to form real-life connections with the texts that they are reading,” Frank said. “The opportunity to read and discuss the diverse multicultural issues presented so eloquently in Tan’s work and then listen to her speak about the creative process allows readers to experience this real-life connection and to recognize the importance of literary study and production to our educational, professional, and personal lives.”

Among the sponsors of Tan’s campus visit are SCWP, Office of Student Activities, the Multicultural Center, Department of English and Foreign Languages, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, President’s and Provost’s offices, and External Affairs.

Born in the US to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan rejected her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She chose to write fiction instead. Her novels include The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The
Bonesetter’s Daughter,
and Saving Fish from Drowning, all New York Times bestsellers and the recipient of various awards. She also is the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, two children’s books, The Moon Lady and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and numerous articles for magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, and National Geographic. Her work has been translated into 35 languages, from Spanish, French, and Finnish to Chinese, Arabic, and Hebrew.

Ms. Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter with Ron Bass for the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. She was the Creative Consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy-nominated PBS
television series for children, which has aired worldwide, including in the UK, Latin America, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Her story in the New Yorker, “Immortal Heart,” was performed on stages throughout the US and in France. Her essays and stories are found in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks, and they are assigned as “required reading” in many high schools and universities. She appeared as herself in the animated series “The Simpsons.” She performed as narrator with the San Francisco Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing an original score for “Sagwa” by composer Nathan Wang.

Ms Tan has lectured internationally at universities, including Stanford, Oxford, Jagellonium,
Beijing, and Georgetown both in Washington, DC and Doha, Qatar. The National Endowment
for the Arts chose The Joy Luck Club for its 2007 “Big Read” program. Ms Tan also served as the Literary Editor for the Los Angeles Times magazine, West.

Her current work includes writing a new novel and creating the libretto for The Bonesetter’s Daughter, which will have its world premiere in September 2008 with the San Francisco Opera. Ms Tan’s other musical work for the stage is limited to serving as lead rhythm dominatrix, backup singer, and second tambourine with the literary garage band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose members include Stephen King, Dave Barry, and Scott Turow. In spite of their dubious talent, their yearly gigs have managed to raise more than a million dollars for literacy programs.

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