Amy Tan Quotes
Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and the Chinese-American experience. Her best-known work is The Joy Luck Club, which has been translated into 35 languages. In 1993, the book was adapted into a commercially successful film
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At the beginning of my career as a writer, I felt I knew nothing of Chinese culture. I was writing about emotional confusion with my mother related to our different beliefs. Hers was based in family history, which I didn't know anything about. I always felt hesitant in talking about Chinese culture and American culture.
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.
The forbidden things were a great influence on my life. I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.
I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind. I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression.
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.
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.
I'm open to reading almost anything - fiction, nonfiction - as long as I know from the first sentence or two that this is a voice I want to listen to for a good long while. It has much to do with imagery and language, a particular perspective, the assured knowledge of the particular universe the writer has created.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.