With each passing day, I didn't lose hope. I fought to have more.

Amy Tan on hope

If you can't change your fate, change your attitude.

Amy Tan on attitude

I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.

Amy Tan on constellation

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 on arises

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 on afraid

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.

Amy Tan on book

Chance is the first step you take, luck is what comes afterward.

Amy Tan on kitchen

How do I create something out of nothing? And how do I create my own life? I think it is by questioning, and saying to myself that there are no absolute truths.

Amy Tan on creativity

In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you.

Amy Tan on chance

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.

Amy Tan on childhood

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.

Amy Tan on aesthetic

It's both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success.

Amy Tan on attack

About Amy Tan

Name Amy Tan
Quotes 44 quotations
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16
About Amy Tan (Chinese: 譚恩美; pinyin: Tán Ēnměi; born February 19, 1952) is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and what it means to grow up as a first generation Asian American. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.
Top topics life, write, people, hope, writing

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.

Amy Tan on alien

I have a writer's memory which makes everything worse than maybe it actually was.

Amy Tan on makes

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 on careful

I learned to forgive myself, and that enabled me to forgive my mother as a person.

Amy Tan on enabled

We are the kind of people who obsess over one word.

.. but we have only one shot to get it right in concert. It was hard the first time I practiced with them. I was so nervous that my vocal chords were paralyzed for about a half-hour.

Amy Tan on chords

The forbidden things were a great influence on my life.

I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.

Amy Tan on catcher

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.'

Amy Tan on agent

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 on grateful

I didn't fear failure. I expected failure.

Amy Tan on expected

It's a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.

Amy Tan on life

My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes.

Amy Tan on sentence

I started a second novel seven times and I had to throw them away.

Amy Tan on started

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.

Amy Tan on book

My parents had very high expectations.

They expected me to get straight A's from the time I was in kindergarten.

Amy Tan on expectations

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 on amazing

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 on extreme

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.

Amy Tan on comfortable

Placing on writers the responsibility to represent a culture is an onerous burden.

Amy Tan on burden

God, life changes faster than you think.

Amy Tan on faster

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 on care

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.

Amy Tan on artist

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.

Amy Tan on alzheimer

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.

Amy Tan on age

We all hate moral ambiguity in some sense, and yet it is also absolutely necessary. In writing a story, it is the place where I begin.

Amy Tan on life

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.

Amy Tan on bible

I used to think that my mother got into arguments with people because they didn't understand her English, because she was Chinese.

Amy Tan on chinese

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.

Amy Tan on discouragement

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.'

Amy Tan on critic

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.

Amy Tan on draw

I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind.

I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression.

Amy Tan on choice

There are never complete answers. Or rather, if there is an answer, it is to remind myself that there is uncertainty in everything.

Amy Tan on life

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 on called