Amy Tan Quotes
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About Amy Tan
Amy Tan (born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and the Chinese American experience.
Famous Amy Tan quotes
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Our uniqueness makes us special, makes perception valuable – but it can also make us lonely. This loneliness is different from being ‘alone’: You can be lonely even surrounded by people. The feeling I’m talking about stems from the sense that we can never fully share the truth of who we are. I experienced this acutely at an early age. Amy Tan
It’s both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success. Amy Tan
I have survivor skills. Some of that is superficial – what I present to people outwardly – but what makes people resilient is the ability to find humour and irony in situations that would otherwise overpower you. Amy Tan
My mother believed in curses, karma, good luck, bad luck, feng shui. Her amorphous set of beliefs showed me you can pick and choose the qualities of your philosophy, based on what works for you. Amy Tan
God, life changes faster than you think. 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. 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. Amy Tan
There is this myth, that America is a melting pot, but what happens in assimilation is that we end up deliberately choosing the American things – hot dogs and apple pie – and ignoring the Chinese offerings. Amy Tan
I am an American, steeped in American values. But I know on an emotional level what it means to be of the Chinese culture. Amy Tan
I didn’t fear failure. I expected failure. Amy Tan
I felt ashamed of being different and ashamed of feeling that way. Amy Tan
No one can travel your own road for you; you must travel it for yourself. My faith in this stems from my childhood. I grew up in a family with a system of religious beliefs handed down to me. Amy Tan
When you read about the lives of other people, people of different circumstances or similar circumstances, you are part of their lives for that moment. You inhabit their lives, and you feel what they’re feeling, and that is compassion. If we see that reading does allow us that, we see how absolutely essential reading is. Amy Tan
I write because I know that one day I will die, and thus I should experience as many deliberate observations, careful thoughts, wild ideas, and deep emotions as I can before that day occurs. Amy Tan
People talk about this ‘bucket list’: ‘I need to go to this country, I need to skydive.’ Whereas I need to think as much as I can, to feel as much as I can, to be conscious and observe and understand me and the people around me as much as I can. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Amy Tan
My breakfast is usually a wholegrain cereal or porridge, with walnuts sprinkled in it, berries, a tablespoon of honey, and chia seeds. I have coffee and a little cherry juice with seltzer. I have a seat by the window, and I look out at the view. Amy Tan
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. Amy Tan
I have many reasons why I think reading is really important. It provided for me a refuge, especially during difficult times. It provided me with the notion that I could find an ending that was different from what was happening to me at the time. Amy Tan
In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you. 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. Amy Tan
Until the age of five, my parents spoke to me in Chinese or a combination of Chinese and English, but they didn’t force me to speak Mandarin. In retrospect, this was sad, because they believed that my chance of doing well in America hinged on my fluency in English. Later, as an adult, I wanted to learn Chinese. Amy Tan
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