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What is a woman worth?

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By Kelly LeVan

Here’s one of those rare cases where you can love a book – and love the movie based on it as well. They’re two unique works of art, the novel and the film “The Joy Luck Club,” while cut from the same silky fabric.In both, Amy Tan, either as a novelist or a screenwriter, tells the intersecting stories of eight women, four Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters. The stories pivot around that of Jing-Mei “June” Woo (played by Ming-Na in the film), whose mother Suyuan (Kieu Chinh) recently died.Suyuan was a member of the Joy Luck Club, formed by the older generation of women, and now the club has purchased a plane ticket for June to fly to China and meet her twin half-sisters, whom her mother abandoned during wartime, hoping a better life would find them.Suyuan died without ever knowing her twins were still alive – that a stranger had found them on the side of a road laden with treasures refugees could no longer carry, and that the twins had been searching for their mother their whole lives.Each female character in “The Joy Luck Club” has a tale just as heartbreaking.


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