By Isabella Biedenharn
April 25, 2017 at 11:17 AM EDT

Amy Tan, the best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement,will make her foray into nonfiction this October with the forthcoming memoir, Where the Past Begins. In the book, she’ll explore her own past and the secrets of her family’s history, linking them both to her beloved novels.

EW can exclusive reveal the cover for Where the Past Begins, below, as well as a quirky video from Tan, above, in which the author explains more about what readers can expect from the memoir — and pokes fun at her own book jacket.

Harper Collins

The official summary for Where the Past Begins is as follows:

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. Supplied 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.

Where the Past Begins will be published by Ecco Books on Oct. 17.

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