Committee discusses 'The Joy Luck Club'
The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library’s Goodwill Committee teamed up with the University’s Women, Gender & Sexuality Program to host the seventh annual “The Big Read” event in Charlottesville. The event, sponsored nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts, seeks to promote literature and literary discussion across the country.
The committee chose to discuss Amy Tan’s 1989 book “The Joy Luck Club” at this year’s event. The discussion was led by Education School faculty Lisa Speidel and Loren Intollube-Chmil, both of whom are also part of the Women, Gender and Sexuality program.
“We are using the novel … to discuss the complexities of identity through the experiences and relationships of Chinese immigrant mothers and their American born daughters,” Speidel said. “We will explore the tensions between communication and language, cultural tradition and [we are] confronting sexism, and the meaning and pressures of assimilation in America.”
Speidel hopes the event will raise awareness about difficulties that Chinese-Americans experience during assimilation into American culture.
“I in no way am trying to speak for Chinese-American women, or to say all of their experiences are the same,” Spiedel said. “But rather [I] hope that we can create a safe environment for open discussion about what challenges there may be, how Asian Americans face bias, prejudice and stereotypes, and discuss various forms of resistance and resilience to these challenges.”
—compiled by Andrew D’Amato