Bestselling author Amy Tan will be interviewed by distinguished art curator and historian, William Wu, who was a major source of information and unintended inspiration for Tan’s most recent novel Saving Fish from Drowning. Their conversation will explore the local roots of the novel, the relevance of art in contemporary lives, their shared touring experiences in Asia, and the larger themes in the book. When a group of Jade Circle members of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco sign up for a tour of Buddhist art along the Burma Road, they get more adventure than they bargained for. Just days before their journey begins, their tour leader, a socialite and major donor of the Museum, meets an unfortunate and mysterious end, which propels the travelers to fall into disarray, find trouble, pick up curses, and eventually, enter a place where they disappear.
With sharp wit, Tan offers an idiosyncratic and often hilarious view of the Chinese aesthetic and American headlines, and her panorama includes a repressive regime and its image consultants, child divinities and a British illusionist, as well as a group of travelers and their tour leader who are true and irrepressible San Franciscans. Through such storytelling, Tan lures us to a darker and more troubling truth, a place far beyond good intentions, where perhaps nothing can be saved and even hope may not survive. Saving Fish from Drowning is a sensual, provocative and unpredictable journey into fine art, lost souls, and other forms of immortality. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale in the Museum Store.