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Amy Tan QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
And she said, 'It's not too late; tell the world, tell the world what happened to her.' And I take her mandate to be the one that is in my heart, the one that I should follow.
Quotation of Amy Tan
And so she was very proud, because she measured success in terms of money, which is what I started to do as well. My goal then, became to increase the amount of money that I made each month.
Quotation of Amy Tan
And we have a Constitution, a tradition, a culture that supports that. I hope it continues to support that. I hope it especially continues to support the arts in that direction.
Quotation of Amy Tan
At the time I was doing business writing, I also had a friend who introduced me to a fiction writer. My friend said that I could meet this woman and tell her how to make some real money.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Certainly all of us have gone through fights with partners in our life, but that's not drawn from my relationships per se. But I know that I'm going to be subject to that assumption.
Quotation of Amy Tan
For myself, it's very personal. So I have a hard time accepting what is said about my work when it's taken apart.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Getting this story out, I realized, was a gift that she was giving me. And there was a gift I could give back to her, and it didn't matter what happened to that book afterwards.
Quotation of Amy Tan
God, life changes faster than you think.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I also grew up, thankfully, with a love of language. That may have happened because I was bilingual at an early age. I stopped speaking Chinese when I was five, but I loved words.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I also thought of playing improvisational jazz and I did take lessons for a while. At first I tried to write fiction by making up things that were completely alien to my life.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I could already see how people were treating me differently. That's the scary thing.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I did see all of those things, and even more. I discovered how American I was. I also discovered how Chinese I was by the kind of family habits and routines that were so familiar.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I did some writing in class when I was young just as everybody did. I had to write little essays and things like that.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I didn't fear failure. I expected failure.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I didn't want to become a suspicious person. Those were the things that helped me decide what I was going to write.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I discovered a sense of finally belonging to a period of history which I never felt with American history.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I don't see myself, for example, writing about cultural dichotomies, but about human connections.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I find it happening less here partly because people are more aware now of the flaws of political correctness - that literature has to do something to educate people.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I have a writer's memory which makes everything worse than maybe it actually was.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I learned to forgive myself, and that enabled me to forgive my mother as a person.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I loved fairy tales when I was a kid. Grimm. The grimmer the better. I loved gruesome gothic tales and, in that respect, I liked Bible stories, because to me they were very gothic.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I read a book a day when I was a kid. My family was not literary; we did not have any books in the house.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I remember all of my teachers. I think of them all as being very kind and dedicated. I remember one teacher in particular.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I remember once one of my playmates from around the corner died, probably of leukemia. My mother took me to this funeral and took me up to see Rachel.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I saw my mother in a different light. We all need to do that. You have to be displaced from what's comfortable and routine, and then you get to see things with fresh eyes, with new eyes.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I started a second novel seven times and I had to throw them away.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I still did a lot of things out of anger for a while. I was lucky that I met a very kind person, a very good person and that person is now my husband. He is a very sweet man.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I still have to think about that over and over again, with everything I do in life. It's so easy to get derailed by success.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I think any mother worries about her daughter losing herself to some boy and ruining her life. So there was a mix of things.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I think I was a gloomy kid. I was trying to behave, trying to be good. I really loved my father. He was my mentor in a way, so I wanted to please him a lot.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I think I've always been somebody, since the deaths of my father and brother, who was afraid to hope. So, I was more prepared for failure and for rejection than for success.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I thought I was clever enough to write as well as these people and I didn't realize that there is something called originality and your own voice.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I thought it would ruin things, because at that moment in my life I was fairly happy. I was getting along with my mother.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I thought my life was over then, that all chances of ever going to college - of having a decent life, of being respected - were gone.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I used to think that my mother got into arguments with people because they didn't understand her English, because she was Chinese.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I wanted to bury it so that what I thought was the stronger, more independent, American side could come out.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I wanted to see where she had lived, I wanted to see the family members that had raised her, the daughters she had left behind. The daughters could have been me, or I could have been them.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I wanted to write stories for myself. At first it was purely an aesthetic thing about craft. I just wanted to become good at the art of something. And writing was very private.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I was in a school in the third grade and they were thinking of skipping me, putting me in a higher grade. But then somebody said that would be bad psychologically.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind. I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I would find myself laughing and wondering where these ideas came from. You can call it imagination, I suppose. But I was grateful for wherever they came from.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I would still like to have that luxury, to be able to just sit and draw for hours and hours and hours. In a way, that's what I do as a writer.
Quotation of Amy Tan
I'm a fairly skeptical person. I'm educated, I'm reasonably sane, and I know that this subject is fodder for ridicule.
Quotation of Amy Tan
If you get this kind of review then you worry about what's going to happen with the next. So there's never any comfort point.
Quotation of Amy Tan
In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you.
Quotation of Amy Tan
In no other country do you have that opportunity. It's not to say that everything will happen fairly and the way that you want.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It didn't matter to my mother that I was writing fiction, because I still had the job. I made it a goal however, to cut back and work only 50 billable hours a week.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It is that self-determination of your identity, to define what it means to be an American, and that nobody defines that for you.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's hard to believe, but this feeling changes over time. So many people feel this way. It's normal to feel conflicted.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's important to give others a sense of hope that it is possible and you can come from really different places in the world and find your own place in the world that's unique for yourself.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's not just some philosophical babble of how things repeat themselves. You see the undercurrents of change and culture and that is history. It's those behaviors that are important.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's not simply material ones or environmental ones. I worry about ethical ones, moral ones, the kinds of compromises that are constantly being made for pragmatic reasons.
Quotation of Amy Tan
It's very gothic to have a little boy killing a giant, somebody's head being served on a platter, dead people being raised out of the grave.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Just be open to it and never let yourself despair that this is it.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Like in Las Vegas when the bells go off, telling you you've hit the jackpot. Yin people ring the bells, saying, 'Pay attention.' And you say, 'Oh, I see now.'
Quotation of Amy Tan
My books and my stories are about families, so why wouldn't I tell them the things that I thought were important to our family, that are in my books?
Quotation of Amy Tan
My mother had a very difficult childhood, having seen her own mother kill herself. So she didn't always know how to be the nurturing mother that we all expect we should have.
Quotation of Amy Tan
My mother said I was a clingy kid until I was about four. I also remember that from the age of eight she and I fought almost every day.
Quotation of Amy Tan
My mother, meanwhile, all the time kept saying, 'Write my true story. That's all you have to do. Write my true story.' I kept saying, 'No, that's not fiction. I'm not writing biography.'
Quotation of Amy Tan
My mother, though, got equally angry at the relative and said, 'For so many years, I carried this shame on my back, and my mother suffered, because she couldn't say anything to anybody.'
Quotation of Amy Tan
My parents had very high expectations. They expected me to get straight A's from the time I was in kindergarten.
Quotation of Amy Tan
My parents told me I would become a doctor and then in my spare time I would become a concert pianist. So, both my day job and my spare time were sort of taken care of.
Quotation of Amy Tan
No one in my family was a reader of literary fiction. So, I didn't have encouragement, but I didn't have discouragement, because I don't think anybody knew what that meant.
Quotation of Amy Tan
People think it's a terrible tragedy when somebody has Alzheimer's. But in my mother's case, it's different. My mother has been unhappy all her life. For the first time in her life, she's happy.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Placing on writers the responsibility to represent a culture is an onerous burden.
Quotation of Amy Tan
She hounded me until I wrote a couple more stories and then she sold that as a collection called The Joy Luck Club.
Quotation of Amy Tan
She said 'I'm by commission. You don't have to pay anything until you sell anything.' I said, 'Well fine. You want to be my agent and not make anything.' I thought, 'Boy, is she dumb.'
Quotation of Amy Tan
Some people are going to lose out, but there also might be some compromises made in the world.
Quotation of Amy Tan
That was a wonderful period in my life. I mean, I didn't become an artist, but somebody let me do something I loved. What a luxury, to do something you love to do.
Quotation of Amy Tan
That was what achievement was: the plateaus you always had to maintain, the highest standards, the 'A's.' People would give you the feedback and tell you if you had done the achievement.
Quotation of Amy Tan
That's what I think life is like, too. I have the luxury to do exactly what it is we all need time to do, and that is just think about the mystery of life.
Quotation of Amy Tan
The forbidden things were a great influence on my life. I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.
Quotation of Amy Tan
The hurdles and conflicts are really momentary. You get over them and you see what happens afterwards.
Quotation of Amy Tan
There are a lot of people who think that's what's needed to be successful is always being right, always being careful, always picking the right path.
Quotation of Amy Tan
They didn't know who I really was. They didn't know how much the smallest amount of recognition would have meant to me and how the smallest amount of criticism could undo me.
Quotation of Amy Tan
They published my little essay and they gave me a transistor radio and, at that moment, there was a little gleam in mind that maybe writing could be lucrative.
Quotation of Amy Tan
They were daughters, also wanting their mother's approval, and didn't understand why their mother was so critical.
Quotation of Amy Tan
This was a moment when I thought for sure my life was over. I think I understand kids who have made a few mistakes. They're relying on everybody else's opinion of who they are.
Quotation of Amy Tan
To write the book, I had to put that aside. As with any book. I go through the anxiety, 'What will people think of me for writing something like this?'
Quotation of Amy Tan
Ultimately, I have to write what I have to write about, including the question of life continuing beyond our ordinary senses.
Quotation of Amy Tan
What you'll find ultimately is that this whole question of who you are is a very, very interesting question and having two cultures to add to the mix of it makes it even more interesting.
Quotation of Amy Tan
When people measure their lives in those terms, the passion is there, the self-guidance is there, and the rewards are there. The success is always there.
Quotation of Amy Tan
When you read about the Civil War, a lot of people, like my husband, can say my great-great-grandfather fought in that war. We have the gun and all that kind of stuff.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses.
Quotation of Amy Tan
With that sendoff into the world, I was determined to make it as a writer. I worked day and night trying to build my business, writing a business plan and thinking of how I could do this.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Words to me were magic. You could say a word and it could conjure up all kinds of images or feelings or a chilly sensation or whatever. It was amazing to me that words had this power.
Quotation of Amy Tan
Writing is an extreme privilege but it's also a gift. It's a gift to yourself and it's a gift of giving a story to someone.
Quotation of Amy Tan
You can get sucked into the idea that, 'Gosh, this is impressive. Maybe I should do this. It will look good.' Or 'I'll write like this because it will impress that critic.'
Quotation of Amy Tan
You write a book and you hope somebody will go out and pay $24.95 for what you've just said. I think books were my salvation. Books saved me from being miserable.
Quotation of Amy Tan