BKMT READING GUIDES

The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings
by Amy Tan

Published: 2003
Hardcover : 416 pages
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With the same spirit, humor, and magic that characterize her beloved novels, Tan presents a refreshing antidote to the world-weariness and uncertainties listeners face today, contemplating how things happen in her own life and ...
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Introduction

With the same spirit, humor, and magic that characterize her beloved novels, Tan presents a refreshing antidote to the world-weariness and uncertainties listeners face today, contemplating how things happen in her own life and beyond.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Questions from Publisher's Reading Guide:

1. Do you believe in fate? How would you define it? Can you personally relate somehow to the ways that various individuals in this collection confronted fate?

2. Why do you think that with all of the adventures, trials and plights the author faced, she chose to end the book with a discussion on her battle with Lyme disease? How does this particular piece encapsulate the major themes discussed in the book?

3. Which piece of writing in The Opposite of Fate did you find to be most enjoyable—i.e., the most thought provoking or personally influential? Share your thoughts with the group.

4. Discuss some of the "alternatives" to fate that Amy Tan lists in her note to the reader. How do they manifest themselves in the various pieces in The Opposite of Fate?

5. Focus on the piece entitled "A Question of Fate," wherein the author tells of the uncanny premonition she had regarding the murder of a friend. What role do dreams and the subconscious play in a discussion of fate?

6. Discuss the significance of the author's Chinese heritage and upbringing in relation to the larger themes in the book. Do you think that her particular ancestry lends itself more readily to an appreciation of fate? Why or why not?

7. Throughout this compilation, the notions of loss and inexplicable tragedy are ever-present. How effective do you think writing is as a means to ease emotional and psychological pain?

8. Did any one individual in this book affect you more than others? What was it about their story that influenced you?

9. Revisit the selection entitled "scent". How do you think this passage fits in to a compilation of writing on fate? How is it reflective of the rest of the collection?

10. Delve a bit into the life of Daisy Tan (Amy's mother). How would you describe the relationship between mother and daughter? Discuss some examples of Tan's mother attempting to change fate. How did they affect her daughter's life, either directly or indirectly?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Opposite of Fate"by kindlfif2 (see profile) 01/09/10

Excellent book club book. Lots of opportunity for discussion. Very insightful on the subjects of authors, Mother daughter relationships, and Chinese American culture.

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