WHERE THE PAST BEGINS by Amy Tan NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, December 13, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination By Amy Tan Cover Image

Where the Past Begins: Memory and Imagination (Paperback)

$16.99


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From New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan, a memoir about finding meaning in life through acts of creativity and imagination. As seen on PBS American Masters "Unintended Memoir."

In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan reveals the ways that our memories and personal experiences can inform our creative work. Drawing on her vivid impressions of her upbringing, Tan investigates the truths and inspirations behind her writing while illuminating how we all explore, confront, and process complex memories, especially half-forgotten ones from childhood.

With candor, empathy, and humor, Tan sheds light on her own writing process, sharing her hard-won insights on the nature of creativity and inspiration while exploring the universal urge to examine truth through the workings of imagination—and what that imaginative world tells us about our own lives. Where the Past Begins is both a unique look into the mind of an extraordinary storyteller and an indispensable guide for writers, artists, and other creative thinkers.

 

Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which was adapted into a PBS television series. Tan was also a coproducer and coscreenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club. Her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062319319
ISBN-10: 0062319310
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: October 30th, 2018
Pages: 368
Language: English

“The best new memoir I’ve read in a decade is Amy Tan’s breath-taking high-wire act of memory and imagination . . . [a] classic of the form . . . A must-read for the ages.” — Mary Karr

“Any book by best-selling Tan is cause for excitement, and this surprising and gripping memoir will be zealously promoted and discussed.” — Booklist (starred review)



DISTANT FATHERS by Marina Jarre NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, November 8, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Distant Fathers By Marina Jarre, Ann Goldstein (Translator) Cover Image

Distant Fathers (Paperback)

By Marina Jarre, Ann Goldstein (Translator)

$16.95


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Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:18am

A beautifully ingenious memoir, saturated in the history of the European 20th century, and made all the more compelling by Ann Goldstein's luminous translation."
--Vivian Gornick, author of Fierce Attachments

This singular autobiography unfurls from author Marina Jarre's native Latvia during the 1920s and '30s and expands southward to the Italian countryside. In distinctive writing as poetic as it is precise, Jarre depicts an exceptionally multinational and complicated family: her elusive, handsome father--a Jew who perished in the Holocaust; her severe, cultured mother--an Italian Protestant who translated Russian literature; and her sister and Latvian grandparents. Jarre tells of her passage from childhood to adolescence, first as a linguistic minority in a Baltic nation and then in traumatic exile to Italy after her parents' divorce. Jarre lives with her maternal grandparents, French-speaking Waldensian Protestants in the Alpine valleys southwest of Turin, where she finds fascist Italy a problematic home for a Riga-born Jew. This memoir--likened to Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov or Annie Ernaux's The Years and now translated into English for the first time--probes questions of time, language, womanhood, belonging and estrangement, while asking what homeland can be for those who have none, or many more than one.

Reading group guide to Distant Fathers is available for download free of charge at newvesselpress.com.

Product Details ISBN: 9781939931948
ISBN-10: 1939931940
Publisher: New Vessel Press
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2021
Pages: 240
Language: English


Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, October 11, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China By Jung Chang Cover Image

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China (Paperback)

$17.00


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They were the most famous women in China. As the country battled through a hundred years of wars, revolutions and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the center of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history.

Red Sister, Ching-ling, married the 'Father of China', Sun Yat-sen, and rose to be Mao's vice-chair.
Little Sister, May-ling, became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China and a major political figure in her own right.
Big Sister, Ei-ling, became Chiang's unofficial main adviser - and made herself one of China's richest women.

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is a gripping story of love, war, intrigue, bravery, glamour and betrayal, which takes us on a sweeping journey from Canton to Hawaii to New York, from exiles' quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the compounds of the Communist elite in Beijing to the corridors of power in democratic Taiwan. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape twentieth-century China.
JUNG CHANG (張戎) is the author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991), which the Asian Wall Street Journal called the most read book about China; Mao: The Unknown Story (2005, with Jon Halliday), which was described by Time magazine as "an atom bomb of a book"; and Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China (2013), a New York Times "notable book". Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. She has won many awards, including the UK Writers' Guild Best Non-Fiction and Book of the Year UK, and has received a number of honorary doctorates from universities in the UK and USA (Buckingham, York, Warwick, Dundee, the Open University, and Bowdoin College, USA). She is an Honorary Fellow of SOAS University of London.

Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she worked as a peasant, a "barefoot" doctor, a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982 at the University of York - the first person from Communist China to receive a doctorate from a British university.
Product Details ISBN: 9781101972922
ISBN-10: 1101972920
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2020
Pages: 432
Language: English
“Deeply researched, Chang’s book is a riveting read”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Chang adds another title to her series of lively depictions of key figures in Modern Chinese history . . . This accessible book will appeal to history buffs and biography fans in addition to those already familiar with the Chang’s body of work.”Library Journal
 
“The book intertwines the intimate with the big historical picture, tying their personal stories to the deep and irreconcilable political divisions among them . . . it is stamped by her revisionist impulse.”The Atlantic
 
“A highly readable and accessible introduction to three important women who deserve wider recognition.”Booklist

“Chang seamlessly chronicles the lives and marriages of the Soong sisters in this captivating triple biography. . . . This juicy tale will satisfy readers interested in politics, world affairs, and family dynamics.” —Publishers Weekly

"One of this autumn's biggest reads, it's an astounding story told with verve and insight"—Stylist

“The complicated history of China during this period is little-known to most Westerners, so this readable book helps fill a gap. By hooking it onto personalities, Jung Chang has been able to chart a comprehensible way through these decades and an immense mass of information that could otherwise be difficult to digest.”Washington Times

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
is a monumental work . . . Its three fairy-tale heroines, poised between east and west, spanned three centuries, two continents and a revolution, with consequences that reverberate, perhaps now more than ever, in all our lives to this day.”—The Spectator
 
“The book’s strongest point is its nuanced sympathy for the sisters . . . The lives of the three Song sisters—the subjects of Jung Chang’s spirited new book—are more than worthy of an operatic plot.”The Guardian
 
“[Chang] paints China’s intense and complex history in bold strokes . . . It is a rollicking ride.”Literary Review
 
“Absorbing . . . In this lucid, wise, forgiving biography Chang gives a new twist to an old line. Behind every great man . . . is a Soong sister.”The Times (UK)

“Utterly engrossing…it stars a trio of extraordinary women, each of whom enjoyed tremendous privilege and fame, but also endured contact attached and mortal danger as well as heartbreak and despair. Their gripping collecting story reads like Wild Swans meets the Mitfords; and the history feels remarkably close to our own times too."—The Bookseller
 

“[Chang’s] book is well worth reading, in particular for the way it shows how powerful women have helped to shape modern China. At a time when, 70 years after Mao’s victory, the country’s political leadership contains almost no prominent women at all, that is a particularly apposite message to hear.”—The Sunday Times

“In the hands of master storyteller and contrarian Jung Chang, the old tale finds a new interpretation by one who knows well the intricacies of family, influence, gender, and power in modern China . . . A provocative view of the historical times that produced these extraordinary sisters"Air Mail

“Her breathtaking new triple biography restores these “tiger-willed” women to their extraordinarily complex humanity . . . A gripping and emotional personal story.”—The Telegraph


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