I love it when a novelist explains their inspirations and reasons for composing a particular piece; often, the background can be just as engaging as the story that results from the inspiration. This is exactly the case with Tan's latest book, inspired during a rainstorm shelter at a library collection of automatic writings, where she encounters some references to Bibi Chen. When I further learned that this inspiration was entirely false, I had a good laugh at myself. Kudos to Tan for pulling one over on me.
Saving Fish from Drowning is a wonderful tale entwined with mysticism, human idiosyncrasy, adventure and even a bit of schadenfreude. If you've never read Tan's books, I wouldn't start here (instead try The Bonesetter's Daughter first).
P.S. Apologies for the delay in posts; I was thrown for a loop by a problem with integrating google code into the blogger template, and that took time. Anything that takes time nowadays eats into my blogging time. I hope to get back to a more regular schedule soon.