Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir

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For those of us who have enjoyed Amy Tan’s novels, this book about her personal life and beginnings will come as a welcome entry. This is an excellent and revelatory memoir. In many ways, she owes thanks to her editor and muse, Daniel Halpern, who teased her into writing this book; however, that is also a weakness of the book. At least fifty non-relevant pages could be cut. These pages are emails between Tan and her editor and a weird digression into a story about her reactions to Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3. That being said, this is still a book that all fans and writers will want to read. The insights into her process as a writer are very instructive and inspiring.

Tan’s family life could fill several books it is so fraught with drama. Her father and elder brother died within a short time of each other. Her mother was caught between two cultures and wrestled with feelings of worthlessness from her early life. Tan’s current life seems peaceful and happy, so one is left breathing a sigh of relief and a joy that this great writer could find peace.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 357 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2017-Oct-17
ISBN 9780062319296
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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