Amy Tan is an Asian American writer who is 68 years old. In her previous works such as Joy Luck Club and Kitch Gods Wifes she focuses on relationships between mother and daughters. Specifically with mother and daughters with which the mother is an immigrant and new culture as well as the Chinese culture. It can be said that Amy Tan’s work is inspired by her mother, communicating with her mother, her mother who speaks broken English and the insights its provided her.
In her small novel Mother Tongue she discusses the differences between the English she learned at school vs the one she learned at school. Tan also discusses broken English and how her mother being an immigrant directly from China and her being a first generation American here in the United States impacted her and how she was once ashamed of it. She did not want her mom to talk to people because of the way she spoke so she would speak for her. After she then ended up embracing the language. Amy states that she does not like using the term broken english or limited english because she feels its too much of a negatively connotated word to align with such a personal language to her. She discuses the factors of this broken English and looking at awarness discrimination against it in comparison to standard formal English. The MacMillan Dictionary states that broken english is when someone speaks in English, they speak slowly and make a lot of mistakes because they do not know the language very well, for example Tan caught herself saying in a furniture store “not to waste money on that” which translated to we shouldn’t waste money on that. What I got from Tans thesis was ‘That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world.’ (405 Tan)
In terms of the time period Mother Tongue quote says “but it wasn’t until 1985 that I finally began to write fiction” here we can see that she first started writing her actual works of art in 1985 and Mother Tongue itself was published in 1990. This place is the work in contemporary literature, more modern it was released in the late 20th century and this makes it also relatable to the audience because the relationships in which she discusses between mother and daughters can be related to audience members even today. Though it is in the contemporary movement her work also fits in with feminism and literature due to her being a prominent female in her field and focusing her work on mothers and daughters specifically she.