Politics and Prose and Sixth & I Present AMY TAN
Amy Tan's memoir, WHERE THE PAST BEGINS, is full of vivid stories about her childhood in California, her relatives in China, the losses of her father and older brother when she was fifteen, and the secret of the family her mother left behind in Shanghai. Many of these stories echo details from Tan's award-winning novels, especially THE JOY LUCK CLUB. But here, the stories are dictated by memory, not imagination, and in telling them Tan is doing more than providing backstory to her narratives. Drawing on her own journals and the letters she exchanged with her mother, Tan explores the fine and meandering line between real life and art, and her eloquent book is at once a revealing self-portrait and a fascinating look at how fiction grows from and transforms experience.
Tan will be in conversation with Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of many books including the now-classic YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND; THE ARGUMENT CULTURE; YOU'RE WEARING THAT?; and, most recently, YOU'RE THE ONLY ONE I CAN TELL.
Sixth & I and Politics & Prose present this program in partnership with The Alan Cheuse International Writers Center at George Mason University. Named in honor of the late American writer and cultural commentatorknown as National Public Radios voice of bookswho taught at GMU for almost thirty years, and dear friend of Amy Tans, the Cheuse Center celebrates the art of creative writing as a means of international dialogue, education, and understanding.
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