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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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19 of 23 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By D. Berry on 12-07-17

I couldn't get through it

I love Amy Tan's writing and I read and listen to be entertained. I was bored. She should not narrate her own books. She sounded very humdrum. Sorry Amy.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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