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Saving Fish from Drowning
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Author:
Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2005
Accelerated Reader:
IL: UG - BL: 6.9 - AR Pts: 26
Status:
Available from OverDrive

Description

A provocative novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Backyard Bird Chronicles.
On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime.
Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a fagade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions—both good and bad—and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others. 
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes."

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/18/2005
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781440627606
ASIN:
B001NGN2AU
Accelerated Reader:
UG
Level 6.9, 26 Points

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Amy Tan. (2005). Saving Fish from Drowning. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Amy Tan. 2005. Saving Fish From Drowning. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Amy Tan, Saving Fish From Drowning. Penguin Publishing Group, 2005.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Amy Tan. Saving Fish From Drowning. Penguin Publishing Group, 2005.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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f58e0d2f-aae3-9e1f-56a4-c2c291372015
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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title
Saving Fish from Drowning
fullDescription
A provocative novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Backyard Bird Chronicles.
On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime.
Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a fagade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions—both good and bad—and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others. 
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net in the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the bank, where they flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared,' I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning.' Soon enough, the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fishes expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes."
gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 5
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 29, 2005
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2005
        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.

        Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2006
        Adult/High School -"Fish" is based on the real-life disappearance of 12 American tourists in Myanmar. The narrator is Bibi Chen, dealer in Chinese antiquities, who had arranged an art-oriented tour for her friends. When she dies under mysterious circumstances, the others decide to proceed, saying that Bibi will join them -in spirit - -an invitation she accepts. Mostly well-meaning, but ignorant and naive, the group lands in one hilarious situation after another due to cultural misunderstandings. On a lake outing, they are kidnapped and taken to a hidden village where a rebel tribe waits for the Younger White Brother, who will make them invisible and bullet-proof and enable them to recover their land. They believe that they -ve found him in 15-year-old Rupert, an amateur magician. The tour group consists of 10 adults and 2 adolescents, some pillars of the community and some decidedly not, but all rich, intelligent, and spoiled. Bibi, feisty and opinionated, uncovers their fears, desires, and motives, and the shades of truth in their words. As the novel progresses, they become more human and less stereotypical, changing as a result of their experiences. Although Tan also satirizes the tourist industry, American Buddhism, and reality TV, her focus is on the American belief that everyone everywhere plays by the same rules. An extremely funny novel with serious undercurrents." -Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA"

        Copyright 2006 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2005
        Although Tan's fiction is vitally realistic, she is drawn to otherworldly realms, however archly. " The Hundred Secret Senses" (1995) is, in part, a ghost story, and here in her most politically astute and shrewdly satirical tale to date, her narrator, Bibi Chen, 63, speaks to us from beyond. A wealthy, autocratic Chinese American, San Francisco-based art dealer, Bibi doesn't know how she died, but she quickly adjusts to her disembodied existence and relishes her ability to tune into the thoughts and feelings of others, especially when her sophisticated friends decide to go ahead with the lavish and somewhat risky trip she organized to China and war-torn Burma (Myanmar in the parlance of the current tyrannical regime). As the 12 travelers, including a celebrity dog trainer, an evolutionary biologist and her psychologist husband, and a bamboo grower and his teenage son, set out, Bibi, smart and irreverent, is riveted by their wild misadventures. For all their political correctness, the travelers turn into ugly Americans in their pursuit of comfort and amusement until a renegade tribal group kidnaps them in the belief that Rupert, 15, is the messiah according to their unique hodge-podge of animistic, Buddhist, and Christian beliefs. Tan, marvelously liberated, attains new heights with her piquant humor and ship-of-fools cast of charmingly cranky characters. Writing with stinging irony about oppression, genocide, culture clashes, religion, media spin, and corruption, she slyly considers the unintended consequences of everything from a thwarted seduction to a war based on lies. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2005, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 6, 2006
        When Amy Tan walks into a bookstore and reads from her work, the audience is enthralled by her very presence. But an audio recording is an art form and a performance, not an author appearance. Some authors excel as performers—for example, Simon Brett performs his Murder in the Museum
        with aplomb —but Tan is not gifted with an actor's range. Alone in a studio, Tan does not do justice to her own work. Words melt when Tan drops her voice at the end of sentences—and even in the middle. It sounds as if she is rocking back and forth in front of the microphone, or perhaps looking down and away from the mike to study the text. She is also unable to produce different voices for her characters. The narrator who finds Bibi Chen's writings (via a psychic) sounds exactly like Bibi herself. The comments of Bibi's ghost on the ill-fated trip of several of her friends in China and Myanmar are clearly meant to be humorous, but this, too, doesn't come across in Bibi's voice. As a writer, Tan has a well-deserved following. Hopefully, she will leave future recordings to someone who can give her novels the breadth they deserve. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 29).

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A provocative novel from the bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Backyard Bird Chronicles.
On an ill-fated art expedition into the southern Shan state of Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas-morning tour and disappear. Through twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime.
Saving Fish from Drowning seduces the reader with a fagade of Buddhist illusions, magician's tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions—both good and bad—and about the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others. 
A pious man explained to his followers: "It is...
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