• Where the Past Begins

  • A Writer's Memoir
  • By: Amy Tan
  • Narrated by: Amy Tan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-17-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (69 ratings)

Regular price: $31.93

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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.
©2017 Amy Tan (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 12-14-17

Narration Issues

The narration was a huge stumbling block for me with this memoir. I have tried several times to get past this because I would really like to hear what Tan has to say about her life and writing history. I have even gone back and re-listened to the sample--something I am super careful about with all books, but especially with author narrated titles--though even this measure did not help. To me the sample sounds great and still does in the re-listen. I'm baffled because the actual downloaded recording sounds different.

I can't pinpoint the issue exactly but if I am up walking around and actively doing things while I am listening, my mind immediately wanders, I loose track of what is being said and just tune out completely. On the other hand if, heaven forbid, I am lying down while I try and listen I am lulled to sleep with in minutes. The reading for me fits into the category of being the dreaded recorded knock out drug.

If I had to guess I'd say that Tan's voice is very soft, flowing and stays in a narrow vocal range giving it a hypnotic tone and quality. I wish that a professional narrator with a more dynamic and varied style had been hired to do the reading.

Ordinarily I'd suggest listening to the sample but as I've said that didn't work for me. I think you may just have to try the book and see if you are ok with it. The reviews here seem to be equally split on the narration. This is one book it seems that I will have to read in print.

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18 of 21 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Babybear on 11-01-17

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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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