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Amy Tan Quotes and Sayings
Quotes by Amy Tan

I hope you like this page of quotes by Amy Tan from my extensive collection of relationship quotes.

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

The forbidden things were a great influence on my life.
I was forbidden from reading A Catcher in the Rye.
- 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

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

 

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

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 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

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

God, life changes faster than you think.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind.
I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression.
- Amy Tan

My parents had very high expectations.
They expected me to get straight A's from the time I was in kindergarten.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Amy Tan

I didn't fear failure.
I expected failure.
- 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.
- 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.
- Amy Tan

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

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

He who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed.
- Albert Einstein

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it,
or who said it, no matter if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense.
- The Buddha

Time, like life itself, has no inherent meaning.
We give our own meaning to time as to life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Say NO to the demands of the world.
Say YES to the longings of your own heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.
- Japanese pictorial maxim (the Three Wise Monkeys)

There are no facts, only interpretations.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
- Rabindranath Tagore

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu

Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences.
No one can eliminate prejudices -
just recognize them.
- Edward R. Murrow

I leave no trace of wings in the air,
but I am glad I have had my flight.
- Rabindranath Tagore

If we have no peace,
it is because we have forgotten
that we belong to each other.
- Mother Teresa

I believe that everything happens for a reason.
People change so that you can learn to let go,
things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right,
you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself,
and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
- Marilyn Monroe

I say NO to the demands of the world.
I say YES to the longings of my own heart.
There is nothing I ever need to have.
There is nothing I ever need to do.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The River of Life has no meaning,
no good, no bad, no better, no worse,
no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy.
The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need
but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
- 1 John 3:17

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Choose with no regret.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.
- Helen Keller

Do not blame the thistle that you see no beauty.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
- Confucius

Life is NOT "Supposed to be Fair."
Know that there is no single way that life is "supposed" to be.
Demanding that life meet our expectations
is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence.
Life is a game with no rules.
Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions.
Our only path to happiness lies in being open
to receiving whatever life throws at us -
with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

No one was ever named "Hero" for following the crowd.
Heroes set their own course.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
A terrible thing: no one to blame.
- Erica Jong

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Through humor, you can soften some
of the worst blows that life delivers.
And once you find laughter,
no matter how painful your situation might be,
you can survive it.
- Bill Cosby

Some things will never seem adequate
no matter how hard we try.
- from the movie White Man's Burden

There are no small acts of kindness.
Every compassionate act makes large the world.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Do not let Sunday be taken from you.
If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan.
- Albert Schweitzer

No good comes from hurrying.
- Yiddish Proverb

There is no passion to be found playing small -
in settling for a life that is less
than the one you are capable of living.
- Nelson Mandela

Sing like no one's listening,
love like you've never been hurt,
dance like nobody's watching,
and live like its heaven on earth.
- Mark Twain

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.
If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
- Anne Bradstreet

Travelers, there is no path.
Paths are made by walking.
- Antonio Machado


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May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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