Amy Tan •

Fri, Jun 14, 2024 – 7:00 pm est

Virtual Tickets

In-Person Tickets

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And current safety practices.

Ticket Purchasing Options

Walk-up to the Opera House

You can purchase tickets at the box office of the City Opera House (hours may vary by season; check website for details)

106 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Over the Phone

Call the City Opera House to purchase tickets and reserve your seat.


On the Opera House Website

You will be taken to the City Opera House website for in-person tickets ONLY.
If you want to attend virtual events you must purchase here on the NWS website.

Event and Book


The Clark and Karen Bunting ‘Natural Wonders’ Author Conversations

The National Writers Series is thrilled to bring Amy Tan to the City Opera House stage. Amy is the best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club, and her new nonfiction book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, is a gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight.

“Unexpected and spectacular,” —Ann Patchett, best-selling author of These Precious Days

Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches. With boundless charm and wit, Amy charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.

In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the world: Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater—an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired.

The event takes place at the City Opera House. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and live music, and the event starts at 7 p.m.

NWS to feature short film from IPR’s Points North and The Boardman Review
The National Writers Series will play a short film called Birds of Paradise while guests are settling into their seats for the Amy Tan event. The 9-minute film was produced by Points North podcast and The Boardman Review, and features local bird migration counter Alison Világ. It will be shown at 6:50 p.m. The author event will start promptly at 7 p.m. We ask guests to please arrive a little early so they can enjoy this short film. 

IPR and NWS to Host Amy Tan Post Event Reception at Rare Bird Brewpub
The National Writers Series and Interlochen Public Radio will host a post-event reception at Rare Bird Brewpub on Friday, June 14 from 8:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. Birds of Paradise subject and bird migration counter Alison Világ will be present to mingle with guests.

NWS thanks the Rare Bird Brewpub for being the entertainment sponsor for Amy Tan’s event.

In-person Tickets:
Tier One Tickets
$57 – Each single ticket includes a hardcover copy of The Backyard Bird Chronicles, $30 (includes 20% discount & tax)
$84  – Each double ticket includes one hardcover copy of the book

Tier Two Tickets:
$47 – Each single ticket includes one hardcover copy of The Backyard Bird Chronicles, $30 reflects 20% discount plus tax
$64  – Each double ticket includes one hardcover copy of the book

Virtual Tickets:
$45 – Each virtual tickets includes a copy of theThe Backyard Bird Chronicles, $30 reflects 20% discount plus tax

Student Tickets: $5 (Does not include book)

Amy Tan


Born in the U.S. in 1952 to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She attended five colleges: Linfield College, San Jose City College, San Jose State University, University of California at Santa Cruz, and University of California at Berkeley.

In 1987, Amy went to China for the first time, accompanied by her mother. When she returned home, she learned that she had received several offers based on her submission of three short stories. The resulting book of connected stories,The Joy Luck Club, was hailed as a novel and became a surprise bestseller, spending over forty weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Amy has lectured internationally at universities, including Stanford, Oxford, Jagellonium, and Georgetown both in Washington, DC and Doha, Qatar. She did a TED talk on creativity and spoke at the White House, appeared on the popular NPR program Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, as well as on Sesame Street.and in the documentary Boomers. The National Endowment for the Arts chose The Joy Luck Club for its inaugural Big Read program in 2007. Read her full bio here.

Guest Host | Ed Ronco


Ed Ronco is the news director at Interlochen Public Radio, a post he’s held since June of 2022. He moved back to his home state of Michigan after nine years in Seattle, where he was the local host of “All Things Considered” for public radio station KNKX. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Sitka, Alaska, where he covered everything from whales to the school board, and South Bend, Indiana, where he covered politics and business. Ed and his partner, David, live just outside Traverse City.

Purchase Book

Entertainment Sponsor

Rare Bird

Literary Sponsor

Local Bookstores

Bay Books – Suttons Bay

Brilliant Books – Traverse City

Cottage Book Shop – Glen Arbor

Horizon Books – Traverse City

McLean & Eakin – Petoskey

Saturn Booksellers – Gaylord

Thank You to all our Major Sponsors

For more information on these sponsors or becoming a sponsor of National Writers Series click here

Sustaining Sponsor
Season Sponsor
Development Sponsor
Arts Benefactor Sponsor