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A collection of quotes and thoughts by Amy Tan on age, truth, American, power, words, writings, mother, daughter, family, experience, faith, father, history and travel.

100 Famous Quotes By Amy Tan On Luck, Culture, Relationships And More

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Oakland, California

Amy Tan is a popular American writer whose thoughts and writings traverse the Chinese American experience and mother-daughter relationships. Her novel ‘The Joy Luck Club’ was reworked into a movie in 1933 which was directed by Wayne Wang. Some of the most notable works by Tan include ‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’, ‘The Valley Of Amazement’, ‘The Kitchen God’s Wife’, ‘Saving Fish From Drowning’ and ‘The Hundred Secret Senses’. Her writings also include non-fiction essays and few children books. The children books written by Tan have been turned into an animated series. Tan’s work, thoughts, writings and books have both been commercially and critically acclaimed. She has also been accused of depicting the Chinese culture in a negative light. Read through the quotes and sayings by Amy Tan which will give you a glimpse of customs and propinquity.

We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

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

- Amy Tan

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

- The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan

Writing what you wished was the most dangerous form of wishful thinking.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that's like saying you can never change your fate. Isn't that true?

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

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

I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

Isn't hate merely the result of wounded love?

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Sure I loved him - too much. And he loved me, only not enough. I just want someone who thinks I'm number one in his life. I'm not willing to accept emotional scraps anymore.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

That was how dishonesty and betrayal started, not in big lies but in small secrets.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

We all had our miseries. But to despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable. -Suyuan

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much. And once it is closed, you no longer see what is underneath, what started the pain.

- The Joy Luck Club, 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

Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh. -An-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

From what I have observed, when the anesthesia of love wears off, there is always the pain of consequences. You don't have to be stupid to marry the wrong man.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

And I think now that fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention. But somehow, when you lose something you love, faith takes over. -Rose

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I love and am loved, fully and freely, nothing expected, more than enough received.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

You remember only what you want to remember. You know only what your heart allows you to know.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

How can you blame a person for his fears and weaknesses unless you have felt the same and done differently?

- The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan

But she never looked back with regret. There were so many ways for things to get better. -Jing-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

You must think for yourself, what you must do. If someone tells you, then you are not trying. -An-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

After all, Bao Bomu says, what is the past but what we choose to remember?

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

I won't be what I'm not. -Jing-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Your life is what you see in front of you. -An-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Too much happiness always overflowed into tears of sorrow.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me.

- The Joy Luck Club, 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

Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

If she doesn't speak, she is making a choice. If she doesn't try, she can lose her chance forever. -An-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Too many good things all seem the same after a while.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Why do you think you are missing something you never had?

- Amy Tan

To come so far, to lose so much and to find nothing. -Jing-mei

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

All these years I kept my true nature hidden, running along like a small shadow so nobody could catch me. -Ying Ying

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Don't think too much. That makes you believe you have more choices than you do. Then you mind becomes confused.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, 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

How can the world in all its chaos come up with so many coincidences, so many similarities and exact opposites?

- Amy Tan

What is the past but what we choose to remember?

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

Chaos is the penance for leisure.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

There's no hope. There's no reason to keep trying. Because you must. This is not hope. Not reason. This is your fate. This is your life, what you must do.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

But I was no longer sacared. I could see what was inside me. -Lindo

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

When you lose your face..., it is like dropping your necklace down a well. The only way you can get it back is to fall in after it.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

We are lost, she and I, unseen and not seeing, unheard and not hearing, unknown by others.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

If I look upon my whole life, I cannot think of another time when I felt more comfortable: when I had no worries, fears, or desires, when my life seemed as soft and lovely as lying inside a cocoon of rose silk.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

If I now recognize evil in other people, is it not because I have become evil too?

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Only two kinds of daughters, she shouted in Chinese. Those who are obedient and those who follow their own mind!

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

A mother is always the beginning. She is how things begin.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

But I don't have anything left inside of me to figure out where I fit in or what I want. If I want anything, it's to know what's possible to want.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

But I will win and give her my spirit, because this is the way a mother loves her daughter. -Ying Ying

- Amy Tan

You can't have intentions without consequences. The question is, who pays for the consequences? Saving fish from drowning. Same thing. Who’s saved? Who’s not?

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

It was a distorted form of inverse logic: If hopes never come true, then hope for what you don't want.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

You can have pride in what you do each day, but not arrogance in what you were born with.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

When you already believe something, how can you suddenly stop? When you are a loyal friend, how can you no longer be one?

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

Why do some memories live only on your tongue or in your nose? Why do others always stay in your heart?

- Amy Tan

It means we're looking one way, while following another. We're for one side and also the other. We mean what we say, but our intentions are different.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Only you pick that crab. Nobody else take it. I already know this. Everyone else want best quality. You thinking different.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

That is the nature of endings, it seems. They never end. When all the missing pieces of your life are found, put together with glue of memory and reason, there are more pieces to be found.

- Amy Tan

They know where happiness lies, not in a cave or a country, but in love and the freedom to give and take what has been there all along.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

Your tears do not wash away your sorrows. They feed someone else's joy. And that is why you must learn to swallow your own tears.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Yesterday my daughter said to me, 'My marriage is falling apart.' And now all she can do is watch it falling.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I have loved works of fiction precisely for their illusions, for the author's sleight-of-hand in showing me the magic, what appeared in the right hand but not in the left...

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

Her education only made her unhappy thinking about it - that no matter how much she changed her life, she could not change the world that surrounded her.

- The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan

With hope, a mind is always free.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

We are living in a world where everything is false. The society is like bright paint applied on top of rotten wood.

- The Kitchen God's Wife, Amy Tan

And after I played them both a few times, I realized they were two halves of the same song.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I saw a girl complaining that the pain of not being seen was unbearable... Now I have perfect understanding. I have already experienced the worst. After this, there is no worse possible thing.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Dementia was like a truth serum.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

I felt like a rich vagabond who had passed through the world paving my way with gold fairy dust, then realizing too late that the path disintegrated as soon as I passed over it.

- Amy Tan

He has always been politely indifferent. But what's the Chinese word that means indifferent because you can't see any differences?

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I discovered that maybe it was fate all along, that faith was just an illusion that somehow you're in control.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

You should think about your character. Know where you are changing, how you will be changed, what cannot be changed back again.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

While it is good to speak well, it is better to speak the truth.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

I was no longer scared. I could see what was inside me.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Why do you have to use me to show off? If you want to show off, then why don't you learn to play chess." - Ch. 5

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

And then she had to fill out so many forms she forgot why she had come and what she had left behind.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

All objects exist in a moment of time.

- The Bonesetter's Daughter, Amy Tan

...we were like two people standing apart on separate mountain peaks, recklessly leaning forward to throw stones at one another, unaware of the dangerous chasm that separated us.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

People there only dream that it is China, because if you are Chinese you can never let go of China in your mind.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I once sacrificed my life to keep my parents' promiise. This means nothing to you, because to you promises mean nothing... But later, she will forget her promise. She will forget she had a grandmother.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I hated the tests the raised hopes and failed expectations." - Two Kinds

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

My mother and I never really understood one another. We translated each other's meanings and I seemed to hear less than what was said, while my mother heard more.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

What is a secret wish?" "It is what you want but cannot ask.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

If you are greedy, what is inside you is what makes you always hungry.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

...A painting was a translation of the language of my heart.

- Saving Fish from Drowning, Amy Tan

I felt foolish and tired, as if I had been running to escape someone chasing me, only to look behind to discover there was no one there.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I felt stuck in the bottom of a wishing well. I was desperate to shout what I wanted, but I didn’t know what that was. I knew only what it wasn’t. The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

- Amy Tan

Now I was a tiger that neither pounced nor lay waiting between the trees. I became an unseen spirit.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Yet part of me also thinks the whole idea makes perfect sense. The three of us, leaving our differences behind, stepping on the plane together, sitting side by side, lifting off, moving West to reach the East.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Because I think to myself, even today, how can the world in all its chaos come up with so many coincidences, so many similarities and exact opposites?

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

Ying-ying, you have tiger eyes. They gather fire in the day. At night they shine golden.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

The things one had to do in life sometimes had nothing to do with what was fun or convenient.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

You can't stay in the dark for too long. Something inside you starts to fade, and you become like a starving person, crazy-hungry for light.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

When you touch a man's nostalgia, he is yours.

- Rules for Virgins, Amy Tan

Hardships can harden even the best person.

- The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan

A few times I invited Ba to visit me from the World of Yin. But other yin friends tell me he is stuck somewhere else, a foggy place where people believe their lies are true.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

But you can't stay in the dark for so long. Something inside of you starts to fade and you become like a starving person, crazy-hungry for light.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

I imagine a hundred Chinese Icaruses, molding wings out of earwax. You can't stop people from wishing.

- The Hundred Secret Senses, Amy Tan

I thought about things, the pros and cons. But in the end I would be so confused, because I never believed there was ever any one right answer, yet there were many wrong ones.

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

These are the things I know are true ...

- Amy Tan