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Babel Gears Up for Amy Tan

The speakers series returns to Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club — at Betty’s and at the movies

Amy Tan’s much-awaited new novel, The Valley of Amazement, was recently released to a flood of media attention. This newest work returns to Tan’s classic theme of mothers and daughters—territory she first became famous for tackling in her best-seller, The Joy Luck Club. As Just Buffalo Literary Center gears up to welcome Amy Tan to their BABEL series later this month, they are organizing numerous events which revisit Tan’s groundbreaking first novel.

On Monday, November 11, Just Buffalo will host BABEL @ Betty’s, a book discussion over wine, coffee, and a special menu of delectables from the kitchen at Betty’s (370 Virginia Street). Doors open at 6:30pm and the discussion begins at 7pm. Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for Just Buffalo members and BABEL subscribers.

With the restaurant otherwise closed to the public, the BABEL @ Betty’s events boast a loyal following of bibliophiles and committed readers. The conversation will be led by Dorothy Tao, who describes herself as “the granddaughter and wife of immigrants from China and Poland…an avid reader and dedicated follower of Asian-American literature since its emergence as a distinctive genre in the 1970s.” Tao received her MLS from the University at Buffalo and currently devotes her time as a docent at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, literacy volunteer, and board member for the League of Women Voters of Buffalo Niagara.

Then, on Thursday, November 14, Just Buffalo will host BABEL @ the Movies with a special screening of the film adaptation of The Joy Luck Club at 7pm at the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre (639 Main Street). Tickets are available for $6 at the theater. Released in 1993, Tan served as co-producer and co-screenwriter with Ron Bass for the film adaptation which was directed by Wayne Wang. At the time of its release, The New Yorker called the film “a superb achievement.”

One of the newest permutations of community events linked to the BABEL series, BABEL @ the Movies was launched in Fall 2012 by Barbara Cole, Just Buffalo’s artistic director. “So often we think of reading as a solitary act,” Cole says, “but each of these BABEL events proves just how much reading brings us together as a community. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see people from all walks of life coming together to talk about the rich themes and complex issues at the heart of each book.”

BABEL is so much more than simply a speaker series. Don’t wait to join in these exciting events which celebrate Buffalo’s thriving literary community and enthusiasm for rich, thought-provoking discussion. To purchase tickets or to find out more information, visit

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