Where the Past Begins

  • by Amy Tan
  • Narrated by Amy Tan
  • 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Where the Past Begins, best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan, reveals herself in a way she never has before, delving into her childhood, adolescence, family history, beginnings as a writer, and professional life to explore the answers to questions of purpose and meaning that we all ask ourselves as we get older.
Moving from her childhood in Oakland and growing up with her Chinese parents through her success as a novelist, Amy Tan delves into her creative interests in music, the paralysis of beginning a new project, journal writing, and travelling. Where the Past Begins chronicles the making of a writer. With characteristic humor and poignant observation, Tan weaves a nontraditional introspective narrative that is as complex and vibrant as this beloved American novelist's fiction. Interspersed with direct correspondence between the author and her editor, this audiobook will give fans and critics unparalleled insight into the author's process, her thoughts on the literary enterprise, and her singularly warm, intelligent mind.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Writing allowed her to tell her incredible journey

I'm left speechless. The more I read the more I understood how her life led her into becoming a writer and also the very person she is. She is one of the most fascinating authors to have read about her past history and how it's unfolding of its life played such an integral role in everyday aspects in her life all the way through to the completion of this book and the molding of it into the person she is today. I marvel over the obstacles she has overcome and not just the tough up bringing she had or the many struggles she overcame but also the many times that she faced literally several deaths scenarios in multiple forms!

Yes, it was a very long book but also very well written between her and her adoring publisher. Amy Tan does not hold back and is a top-notch wrier and deserves all the acknowledgements for how well she writes. Through her writing and other books you never know how bright she is. In this book you get a glimpse into just some of the amazing talents and small portion of how incredibly bright she truly is. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I hope you enjoy it. JH
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- Babybear

Gripping Memoir

I attended a talk by Amy Tan when she was promoting her first book. I enjoyed her talk and reading that book. I put her on my list of authors to follow. Since that time, I have read all her books and make a point of attending her talks whenever she is in my area.

This book is a memoir of her life to-date. She traces her family history through photographs. Tan describes her skill of nature drawings and compares that creativity to her writing. She discusses her mother’s mental illness and its effect on her and the rest of her family. The main topic of the book is about writing and creativity. Tan discusses a collection of letters between herself and her editor, Daniel Halpern. She provides in-sights on writing. She brings out what it takes to be a professional writer. Tan is a gifted storyteller. I enjoy learning about authors and how they write.

The book is fourteen and a half hours long. Amy Tan narrated her own book. It is great to hear the author read their book.






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- Jean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-17-2017
  • Publisher: Harper Audio