Happy Birthday, Amy Tan, born 19 February 1952
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I have a writer’s memory which makes everything worse than maybe it actually was.
- 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.
- Lack of clarity is a writer’s truth.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tan is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships. Her most well-known work is The Joy Luck Club, which has been translated into 35 languages, and a commercially successful film.
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