Essays for an Edited Collection on the works of Amy Tan

deadline for submissions: 
January 25, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Kathryn West
contact email: 

Critical Insights: Amy Tan

 “Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift.  It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

 We are compiling a Critical Insights volume that will point to the nature of some of the gifts Amy Tan has given us, while providing critical analysis of her oeuvre, its strengths as well as its challenges. Thus we seek original essays that are accessible to undergraduates, advanced high school students, and teachers, with the goals of identifying and exploring aspects of Tan’s work they are likely to encounter, discuss, and study in their classrooms. They should help readers build a foundation for studying Amy Tan’s works in greater depth by introducing them to key concepts, contexts, critical approaches, and critical vocabulary found in scholarship, as well as advancing that scholarship. The volume will be published by Grey House Publishing/Salem Press as part of the Critical Insights series.

Volumes in this series follow a format that first includes four introductory essays (each 4,000-5,000 words):

 • “Cultural and Historical Context" chapter: addresses how Tan’s work has been influenced by her historical and social context, as well as what makes her relevant to a contemporary audience;

 • “Critical Reception" chapter: surveys major pieces of criticism on Amy Tan’s writing while addressing major concerns, or aspects, that scholars have attended to over the years;

 • "Critical Lens" chapter: offers a close reading of one or more of Amy Tan’s works from a particular critical standpoint;

 • “Comparative Analysis" chapter: analyzes Amy Tan’s work in light of that of another author.   

The collection will also include ten chapters that analyze important themes, ideas, and stylistic features in Amy Tan’s writing.  Each essay will be 5,000 to 5,500 words. We especially welcome essays that provide analysis through important lenses—feminist and ethnic in particular--and take up some of Tan’s key themes: communication across generations of a family when those generations have grown up in different cultures, the immigrant experience, mother/daughter relationships, the intersection of gender roles and an Asian or Asian American experience, and depression and the artist, among others. Together, these chapters will offer readers a comprehensive introduction to the essential themes, social concerns, and insights that arise from Amy Tan’s work, and as a group explore the various genres of Tan’s career, including novel, short story, essay, and memoir.

Those interested in contributing should send a brief abstract (between 500 – 1,000 words) & two-page CV (highlighting relevant experience) by January 25, 2021 to Dr. Linda Trinh Moser, and Dr. Kathryn West,

We will notify contributors in early February. Completed essays will be due by May 10, 2021.