Friday, June 25, 2021

Finally Friday - Amy Tan

 Finally Friday. Let's fill it with Amy Tan.  There is currently a documentary on Netflix about her - very well done and it prompted me to buy this memoir Where the Past Begins - Memory and Imagination. 

Ever since she burst on to the literary scene with Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan has been a favorite author of mine. Her writing, characters, and stories are rich. She blends the past with the present to create memorable books. And she's taken me to places I've never been. 

With this memoir, you learn more about her life and upbringing. It was not easy. Her mother's story is quite shocking - abusive marriage, fleeing China, Amy's father's (2nd husband) death from a brain tumor and her eldest son's death from a brain tumor, leaving America briefly to travel and mourn, and mental illness through the years. 

Meanwhile, Amy has her issues from her father and brother's deaths. That's a lot to deal with and she uses writing as an escape, a tool, and a career - she was meant to be a writer!

p.186  Darkness is no longer the word I would use for despair, not since going into that cave. I now think the metaphor of pitch-blackness is a good one for starting afresh, for thinking before writing. In darkness, the old forms and assumptions vanish.  Time is suspended. Noise is blocked. In darkness, I have only imagination. 

Food for thought from this memoir (that I did buy):  p. 327  Books are no longer being bought. People are scrimping on their minds. They are starving. 

Happy Friday. Don't scrimp.  Feed your face ( cream!), feed your brain - anything by Amy Tan. 


  1. That's a lot of pain for one person to live through - her poor mother! I haven't read Amy Tan yet.

    1. first -she's a classy writer. The words flow. Second, now knowing her back story, I appreciate her story telling even more.

  2. Hi Joanne - thanks for this ... I must check it out, especially as I've never read any of her work. I will also look at the Netflix documentary -

    I haven't been scrimping re books ... way, way too many! Have a happy weekend - cheers Hilary

    1. I've been on a roll reading too - and there's always more, more, more that I want to read. My eyes have to rest sometimes.
      Enjoy your weekend. Ours shall be HOT!