Born on February 19, 1952 to Chinese immigrants in Oakland California, Amy Tan is known for the sensitive portrayal of mother-daughter relationships in her novels. Amy’s Mom had married her father, a Baptist minister, after she fled from an abusive husband in Shanghai. She had been forced to leave behind her three daughters who Amy met for the first time in 1987, when she traveled with her mother to China. It is said that this meeting, along with her mother’s memories of life in China influenced many of Amy’s novels. Amy’s mother wanted her to become a doctor but Amy choose fiction as her domain. She obtained her her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from San José State University. Despite this she did not plan on becoming a novelist. She started writing as a therapy; she was a workaholic. In 1989, her first novel, the Joyluck Club was published and it won the Commonwealth Gold Award. It ruled the New York Times Best sellers list for a long time and was made into a critically acclaimed film. Tan has also written two children’s novels.
Popular Amy Tan novels include:
Helen Fielding is best known for creating Bridget Jones, the thirty something woman struggling to make sense of love, life and other things in today’s world. Born on February 19, 1958 in west Yorkshire, UK, she studied English at St Anne’s College, Oxford. She joined the BBC as a regional researcher in 1979 and went on to become the production manager for many children’s and entertainment shows. She also wrote and produced documentaries on Africa and in the 1990s became a columnist for some of UK’s most prestigious newspapers. The extremely popular Bridget Jones Diary began as an anonymous column in The Independent in 1995. The idea was born when the newspaper approached Fielding to write a column on her life as a single woman in London. Fielding rejected the idea of an autobiographical column and instead created a fictional character who could reflect the concerns, traumas and everyday life of single women in the 20th century, albeit with some exaggeration for comic relief. These columns later formed the subject for Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – two novels that sold over 15 million copies and were made into blockbuster movies.