Where the Past Begins

Where the Past Begins

A Writer's Memoir

Downloadable Audiobook - 2017
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"In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan is at her most intimate, revealing the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. By delving into vivid memories of her traumatic childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, she gives evidence to all that made it both unlikely and inevitable that she would become a writer. Through spontaneous storytelling, she shows how a fluid fictional state of mind unleashed near-forgotten memories that became the emotional nucleus of her novels. Tan explores shocking truths uncovered by family memorabilia--the real reason behind an IQ test she took at age six, why her parents lied about their education, mysteries surrounding her maternal grandmother--and, for the first time publicly, writes about her complex relationship with her father, who died when she was fifteen. Suffused with candor and characteristic humor, Where the Past Begins takes readers into the idiosyncratic workings of her writer's mind, a journey that explores memory, imagination, and truth, with fiction serving as both her divining rod and link to meaning."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : Harper Audio, [2017]
New York : HarperAudio, 2017
Edition: Unabridged, Retail edition
ISBN: 9780062694751
Branch Call Number: 9.21 Tan
Description: 1 online resource (1 audio file (14 hr., 40 min., 27 sec.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Halpern, Daniel
OverDrive, Inc

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Mooseum
Oct 05, 2018

My mother read The Joy Luck Club and approved. What she didn't approve of was Maxine Hong Kingston's book, The Woman Warrior, which came out years earlier. I don't know what changed her mind during those years. My mother would never tell me the secrets of her life in China. She went to the grave with many of them, although she said that she had told stories to a cousin who was in an Asian studies program. I never asked what they were.

It is probably not fair to compare Amy Tan to Maxine Hong Kingston. Their approaches to their stories seem vastly different, although both come from deeply personal places. There were things in this book which resonated, like how our memories change as we age.

The telling of secrets in this book seemed too much. Maybe I didn't really want to know, after all, and that's why I never asked my own mother.

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