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Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
In Saving Fish From Drowning, Bibi Chen, a San Francisco socialite and art dealer, is to lead a group of 11 wealthy friends on a tour of the Burma Road from China to Burma. Unfortunately, she is murdered just before they are to leave, but the group decides to go on without her. Bibi narrates the story from an afterlife, being able to watch her friends' foibles. It's a tour that goes wrong from the start. The arrogant and ignorant Americans debase a religious shrine, eat in the wrong restaurants, and nearly burn down a resort. They are tricked and kidnapped by a Karen tribe, who believe a teenage boy in the group is their reincarnated savior after they see him do some card tricks. The Karens are being hunted and persecuted by the Myanmar military, and expect this group to protect them. Amy Tan's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "Despite the extreme contrasts in the humorous stories and the serious ones, Tan has made of them a flavorful concoction of sweet and sour. Read it and have a few good laughs. Read it and weep."