Born in the US to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan rejected her mother's expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist. She chose to write fiction instead. Her much-loved, best-selling novels have been translated into 35 languages. In 2008, she wrote a libretto for The Bonesetter's Daughter, which premiered that September with the San Francisco Opera.
Tan was the creative consultant for Sagwa, the Emmy-nominated PBS series for children, and she has appeared as herself on The Simpsons. She's the lead rhythm dominatrix, backup singer and second tambourine with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a literary garage band that has raised more than a million dollars for literacy programs.