Tess Uriza Holthe biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Tess Uriza Holthe

Tess Uriza Holthe

How to pronounce Tess Uriza Holthe: hohlthe

Tess Uriza Holthe Biography

Tess Uriza Holthe is the author of two books. The Los Angeles Times has this to say about her latest, The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes (May 2007) is more like a necklace of glittering beads than any other art form to which the short story might be compared."

Tess' first novel When the Elephants Dance (2002) is a National Bestseller, San Francisco Chronicle #1 Bestseller, Book Sense Top Ten, Ingram Premier pick, Barnes and Nobles Discover, and Border's Original Voices selection. It received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus and Library Journal. She is also published in the Louisville Review and Filipinas Magazine.

Born and raised in Bernal Heights, San Francisco, Tess lived a block up from the public library which she visited frequently, and from which she held many books hostage way past their due dates. Her mother, the elementary school librarian always had the latest book saved for her. Her father, the maintenance mechanic for a sweater factory was her hero. Always close behind, Tess kept him company on many of his overtime shifts and during their browned-bagged dinners, over the whir of the sweater machines, he told her mythical tales and recounted his first hand experiences as a boy of 12, captured by Japanese soldiers during WWII Philippines. She owes her love of books, story, movies, life, laughter, and practical jokes to them.



This bio was last updated on 12/19/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

A Conversation with Tess Uriza Holthe, author of When The Elephants Dance, as she shares about a scene based on actual events in her father's life, and why she chose to write the book through distinct voices of three different narrators.

The opening scene with the young boy being captured by soldiers stemmed from actual events in your father's life. When did he first tell you about what happened to him? What was that experience like?
I can't remember when my father first told me this story. All I know is that he told it over and over again at my insistence. He was out chopping trees for firewood to sell so they could buy food. He was just a boy, thirteen years old. He and some others got too close to a Japanese military encampment. Suspecting them to be guerilla fighters, the soldiers captured and tortured them. I remember my father telling me how excruciating it was, and how his legs shook from terror and exhaustion. He was released, but the other civilians who were detained never returned home.

The plot of the novel unfolds through the distinct voices of three different narrators, and the myths are told by some of the supporting characters. Why did you decide to write the book this way?
One of the exercises in my writing classes was to write about a myth I had heard. I wrote a story which became "A Cure for Happiness" in the book, about a young boy's infatuation with the beautiful neighborhood witch doctor. I wrote five more myths...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Tess Uriza Holthe at BookBrowse
The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes jacket When The Elephants Dance jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Tess Uriza Holthe but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Edwidge Danticat

    Edwidge Danticat

    Since the publication of her debut work Breath, Eyes, Memory in 1994, Edwidge Danticat has won praise as one of America's brightest, most graceful and vibrant young writers. In this novel, and in her National Book ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    When The Elephants Dance

    Try:
    Breath, Eyes, Memory
    by Edwidge Danticat

  • Tan Twan Eng

    Tan Twan Eng

    Tan Twan Eng was born in Penang, but lived in various places in Malaysia as a child. He studied law through the University of London, and later worked as an advocate and solicitor in one of Kuala Lumpur's most reputable law ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    When The Elephants Dance

    Try:
    The Gift of Rain
    by Tan Twan Eng

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...
  • Book Jacket: Look Alive Out There
    Look Alive Out There
    by Sloane Crosley
    After a brief (and thoroughly enjoyable) foray into fiction (with her 2015 novel The Clasp), Sloane ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.