46 pages 1 hour read

Amy Tan

Rules of the Game

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1989

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“Rules of the Game”

  • Genre: Fiction; short story
  • Originally Published: 1989
  • Reading Level/Interest: College/adult
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 12 pages
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Waverly Place Jong, daughter of Chinese immigrants, becomes enthralled with her brother’s discarded chess set, becoming a national champion by age nine. When Waverly runs away from her mother and doesn’t return for several hours, she learns that her tournament opponents aren’t her biggest opponents—her mother is.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Conflict between parent and child; manipulation by a child; child running away

Amy Tan, Author

  • Bio: Born 1952 in Oakland, California; moved frequently while growing up; attended several colleges, eventually earning a master’s degree in linguistics; worked as a language development specialist; turned to fiction writing in an effort to balance freelance jobs; short stories attracted the attention of a literary agent and potential publishers; earned fame with the publication of The Joy Luck Club; served as a lecturer, TED Talk presenter, Sesame Street guest, and Rock Bottom Remainders band member
  • Other Works: The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991); The Hundred Secret Senses (1995); The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2001); Saving Fish from Drowning (2005); The Valley of Amazement (2013)
  • Awards: The Joy Luck Club: Finalist, National Book Awards for Fiction (1989); National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist (1989); ALA Best Books for Young Adults (1990)