Family Phantoms

In The Opposite of Fate, Chinese-American novelist Amy Tan reveals that one of the reasons she became a writer was to make a testament to her mother, Daisy, who emigrated from China in 1949. The formidable Daisy, who appears frequently in this collection of essays, had a distinct voice of her own, typified by this Talibanic pronouncement on the mortal perils of dating: "Don't ever let boy kiss you. You do, you can't stop. Then you have baby. You put baby in garbage can. Police find you, put you in jail, then you life over, better just kill...

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