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Saving fish from drowning [sound recording]
Amy Tan
Adult Fiction TAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Tan (The Bonesetter's Daughter) delivers another highly entertaining novel, this one narrated from beyond the grave. San Francisco socialite and art-world doyenne Bibi Chen has planned the vacation of a lifetime along the notorious Burma Road for 12 of her dearest friends. Violently murdered days before takeoff, she's reduced to watching her friends bumble through their travels from the remove of the spirit world. Making the best of it, the 11 friends who aren't hung over depart their Myanmar resort on Christmas morning to boat across a misty lake-and vanish. The tourists find themselves trapped in jungle-covered mountains, held by a refugee tribe that believes Rupert, the group's surly teenager, is the reincarnation of their god Younger White Brother, come to save them from the unstable, militaristic Myanmar government. Tan's travelers, who range from a neurotic hypochondriac to the debonair, self-involved host of a show called The Fido Files, fight and flirt among themselves. While ensemble casting precludes the intimacy that characterizes Tan's mother-daughter stories, the book branches out with a broad plot and dynamic digressions. It's based on a true story, and Tan seems to be having fun with it, indulging in the wry, witty voice of Bibi while still exploring her signature questions of fate, connection, identity and family. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Renowned best-selling author Tan follows up The Bonesetter's Daughter with a novel loosely based on fact and purportedly communicated by a deceased San Francisco woman named Bibi Chen to a medium via "automatic writing." Prior to her untimely death, Bibi had arranged an excursion to China and Southeast Asia for herself and 12 friends. In her wry, satiric, yet humane voice from beyond the grave, she recounts how 11 of these friends disappear in Burma and become entangled with the misfortunes of an oppressed people in a country run by the tyrannical Myanmar military regime. Tan focuses on the hilarity and absurdity that results from cultural misunderstandings between widely different world views and suggests that even remote parts of the world cannot escape the media's tentacles, government PR spin doctors, global commercial exploitation, and a fascination with reality television. Fortunately, the light shed on these concerns does not come at the cost of character development, as we are privy to the travelers' innermost thoughts and yearnings (owing to Bibi's postmortem ability to read minds). Tan has admirably tackled the unique challenge of building a novel based on a real-life incident and turning the resulting tale into a commentary on the ironies of modern life. Recommended for all libraries.-Maureen Neville, Trenton P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Bibi Chen
Female
Age: Spirit
Socialite
Violently murdered; watches her friends leave on vacation without her.



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