Cover image for Where the past begins : a writer's memoir
Title:
Where the past begins : a writer's memoir
Author:
Tan, Amy, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2017]
Physical Description:
x, 357 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"From New York Times bestselling 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, 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.
Language:
English
Contents:
Prologue. The breaker of combs -- I: Imagination. A leaky imagination ; Music as muse ; Souvenir from a dream ; Hidden genius ; Reorientation: Homer, Alaska -- II: Memory in emotion. Genuine emotions ; The feeling of what it felt like when it happened ; A mere mortal at age twenty-five ; A mere mortal at age twenty-six ; How to change fate: step 1 -- III: Retrieving the past. The unfurling of leaves ; The auntie of the woman who lost her mind ; Unstoppable ; Time and distance: age twenty-four ; Time and distance: age fifty ; Time and distance: age sixty -- IV: Unknown endings. The darkest moment of my life ; Nipping dog ; The father I did not know ; Reliable witness -- V: Reading and writing. I am the author of this novel ; How I learned to read ; Splayed poem: the road ; Eidolons ; Letters to the editor ; Letters in English ; Why write? -- VI: Language. Language: a love story ; Intestinal fortitude ; Principles of linguistics ; Companions in the house.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780062319296
Format :
Book

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