“Two Kinds” from The Joy Luck Club
I just read the short story “Two Kinds,” a chapter excerpt from The Joy Luck Club and it reminded me of how much I have enjoyed reading Amy Tan over the years. “Two Kinds” tells of two strong wills in a combative mother-daughter relationship, as mother pushes daughter to excel at the piano. The two are equally headstrong and appear evenly matched, but Tan shows a child’s rebellion is stronger. We see how it takes years for them to feel regret and reach understanding, but an ultimate closure makes you feel good about this conflict.
Tan draws a nice parallel between this struggle and the Schumann piece the daughter is forced to learn, “Pleading Child.” Years later, she discovers its counterpart piece, “Perfectly Contented,” two halves of the same song.
A very nice read!
I look forward to reading Amy Tan’s new book, The Valley of Amazement, published in November 2013.