Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Amy Tan, a memoir on her life as a writer, her childhood and the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory.
In Where the Past Begins, best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan is at her most intimate in 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 stories.
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 15. Supplied with candour and characteristic humour, Where the Past Begins takes listeners 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.
©2017 Amy Tan (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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Critic reviews

"Tan, who was born in the US to Chinese immigrant parents, is a gifted storyteller." ( Financial Times)
"Chinese-Americans are among the most dynamic, and socially cohesive, ethnic groups in the US...Tan is one of their leading voices." ( Sunday Times)
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