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

Famous As: Writer
Born On: February 19, 1952
Born In: Oakland, California
Age: 70 Years
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.
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We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming - well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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

Amy Tan
Isn't hate merely the result of wounded love?

Isn't hate merely the result of wounded love?

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Tan
Too much happiness always overflowed into tears of sorrow.

Too much happiness always overflowed into tears of sorrow.

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

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

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.

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

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

Amy Tan
Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention.

Fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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?

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?

What is the past but what we choose to remember?

Amy Tan
Chaos is the penance for leisure.

Chaos is the penance for leisure.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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...

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...

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.

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.

Amy Tan
With hope, a mind is always free.

With hope, a mind is always free.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Amy Tan
Dementia was like a truth serum.

Dementia was like a truth serum.

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.

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Amy Tan
All objects exist in a moment of time.

All objects exist in a moment of time.

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.

...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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Amy Tan
I hated the tests the raised hopes and failed expectations.

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

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.

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.

Amy Tan
What is a secret wish?

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

Amy Tan
Hardships can harden even the best person.

Hardships can harden even the best person.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Amy Tan
These are the things I know are true ...

These are the things I know are true ...

Amy Tan