Amy Tan speaks as a part of "Roger Rosenblatt and Friends: On Writing" during the 2008 Chautauqua Institution morning lecture series.
Roger Rosenblatt is a journalist, author, playwright, and teacher. William Safire of the New York Times wrote that his work represents "some of the most profound and stylish writing in America today." His television essays for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS have won a Peabody and an Emmy award. His essays for TIME magazine have won two George Polk Awards, awards from the American Bar Association, the Overseas Press Club, and others.
Rosenblatt's journalism career began in 1975 as literary editor of The New Republic. He has also been a columnist and editor-at-large for Life magazine, the editor of U.S. News & World Report, a columnist and editorial board member of The Washington Post and editor-at-large of TIME, Inc. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Esquire and elsewhere.
He is the author of ten books, including a collection of his writings, The Man in the Water, Coming Apart: A Memoir of the Harvard Wars of 1969, and the national bestseller, Rules for Aging. His book Children of War (1983) won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent book, Lapham Rising (2006), his first novel, was loosely based on the lecture he delivered on major trends of the 20th century at Chautauqua in 2004.
Rosenblatt is currently a professor in the English department at Stony Brook University, where he teaches in the writing program at Stony Brook Southampton. He was most recently the Edward R. Murrow Visiting Professor of the Practice of the Press and Public Policy at Harvard University and held the Parsons Family Chair at the Southampton graduate campus of Long Island University.
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate, and Saving Fish from Drowning. She has also written two children's books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat. The latter became a children's television series for PBS called "Sagwa."
Amy is a member of the literary garage band, The Rock Bottom Remainders, for which she sings the Nancy Sinatra classic, "These Boots Are Made for Walking" to raise money for after-school literacy programs for inner city kids. Tan's rendition of the pop culture classic can be heard on the CD Stranger than Fiction, which benefits the PEN Writers Fund.
Novelist Amy Tan answers why she does not write about characters not of Chinese background and explains the relationship between her family history and the characters and stories she creates in her books.