So I went through a terrible period of feeling that I had lost my privacy, that I had lost a sense of who I was. They didn’t know how much the smallest amount of recognition would have meant to me and how the smallest amount of criticism could undo me. Those were the things that helped me decide what I was going to write. In Amy Tans essay “Mother Tongue”, Tan reveals how she was sculpted into the successful writer she is from the struggles of language speaking her mother had to face. There are all these people out there, so many people looking for the same kind of happiness, the same kind of success, the same kinds of comforts. You know, “Bad things happen for certain reasons. As much as I may dislike or want to reject that responsibility, this is something that comes with public success. I used to think that my mother got into arguments with people because they didn’t understand her English, because she was Chinese. I was scared out of my mind that my life was changing, and it was out of my control, and I didn’t know why it was happening. And, I have to tell you, what was so profound about that is that here this man, who I was supposed to trust, was telling me about these things and suddenly he saw that I was very sad because, at the same time, my father was in the hospital dying. You are absolutely crazy. Tan grew up in Northern California, but when her father and older brother both died from brain tumors in … You can look back on what’s just happened and you make sense of it and grow, or you stagnate or you go back down, but it’s your period of existence. I had to laugh about that. That was what achievement was: the plateaus you always had to maintain, the highest standards, the “A’s.” People would give you the feedback and tell you if you had done the achievement. "It worried me that people think that all Chinese families are like the families in my books," says the author. No more chances. Just as she was embarking on this new career, Tan’s mother fell ill. Amy Tan promised herself that if her mother recovered, she would take her to China, to see the daughters who had been left behind almost 40 years before. That may have happened because I was bilingual at an early age. So I saw my mother in a different light. A lot of bad things have happened in my life. I tried to read more adult books around then. If I look back ten years ago, 15 years ago, I would not be able to believe that I would be saying, “No, I don’t want to make another movie. '", Just for fun, she dresses as a dominatrix to perform with Dave Barry and Stephen King in their band of authors: The Rock Bottom Remainders. When I look at external success and internal success, I always have to keep those things in mind. I was 16. In the following years, Amy Tan published two books for children, The Moon Lady and The Sagwa, and two more novels: The Hundred Secret Senses (1995) and The Bonesetter’s Daughter (2001). As we look to the years ahead, what do you think the biggest challenges are? At first it was purely an aesthetic thing about craft. It’s not to say that everything will happen fairly and the way that you want. I met the right people, who were passionate about my work and, thus, able to get it in front of people who would sell the book in bookstores, readers who would pass the word along to their mothers or daughters or friends. I realized that was the reason for writing fiction. I must write no Chinese characters to prove that I’m multi-talented.” Or “No, I must write this way in a very erudite way to show I have a way to use big words.” It’s both rebellion and conformity that attack you with success. So that by the end of my third year of being a freelance writer, I was billing 90 hours a week. They didn’t know who I really was. We had signed some papers to have this business together and I worked many long hours and one day we had a disagreement and I said I wanted to do more writing and he said that my strength was in project management. I had so many readers who said, “I feel as though you’ve written my life. Today Amy Tan is one of America’s most popular novelists. While Tan was born in Oakland, California, her mother Daisy and father John were both Chinese immigrants. It hurt and then I stopped. She worked around the clock to meet the demands from her many high-priced clients, but she took no joy in the work, and felt frustrated and unfulfilled. "I'm a little aware of danger," she says, "and I think that was transmitted to me by my mother. So I have a hard time accepting what is said about my work when it’s taken apart. Amy Tan’s case went undiagnosed for years before she received proper treatment, and she suffered intense physical pain, mental impairment and seizures. Amy tan mother tongue analysis essay for admission essay writing sites gb. That was powerful. I'm rather perturbed the check has not yet arrived. How do we feel about abortion rights, or the right to die, or the death penalty? I think that’s why I’m a storyteller. This interactive iBook produced by the Academy of Achievement gives aspiring writers a unique look at how fiction is created by six admired and successful authors. She wrote it in the wake of her mother's death, returning to themes of love and memory. I start smoking, I start drinking. Fans came forward to tell Amy Tan how her stories echoed in their own lives. The audience for Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" is very wide. I had to go to physical therapy. And I think I needed an outlet for all that imagination, so I found it in books. Writing is a dynamic undertaking as it takes different styles and approaches in presenting arguments, as well as in the choice of language to convey ideas. Their memory is warped. There is one side of me that wanted to behave and to hear a voice that was God’s voice saying, “Amy, I have a mission for you. It was people discouraging me that got me into writing. In 2013, she published one of her most ambitious books to date, The Valley of Amazement, an epic saga told from the point of view of a part-American girl raised among the courtesans of Shanghai in the first years of the 20th century. I read a book a day when I was a kid. That’s all. So in that respect, I can thank Miss Grudoff of the third grade for allowing me that. Writing is your weakest skill.” I thought, I can either believe him and just keep doing this… I disagreed with him a little bit more forcefully and I said that I get to decide too, because I’m a partner in this. How have people changed toward you as the result of success?” And “How have you dealt with that change in how people have changed toward you?” That’s the most difficult thing. It is a ritual for her. Maybe I should do this. Horrible stuff. But there were differences as well. Is it luck? I’m not good at that. Of the feelings that I had, of these things that my mother had taught me that were inexplicable or had no name. I also grew up, thankfully, with a love of language. This is the way it’s always going to be. Besides Amy, the Tans also had two sons — Peter, born in 1950, and John, born in 1954. I would probably read them a book that I’ve written. I think it’s that kind of change, and when people measure their lives in those terms, the passion is there, the guiding principles, the self-guidance is there, and the rewards are there. We have the gun and all that kind of stuff. You know, 100 pages here, 200 pages there, and I’d say, “Is this what they liked in The Joy Luck Club? I wanted to bury it so that what I thought was the stronger, more independent, American side could come out. Suddenly I’m hanging around with these people in this environment where I know nothing about anything. Is it coincidence? People roll hashish in their cigarettes and I think that’s part of it all and I end up getting arrested. My mother was convinced that this man was going to ruin me. I suppose what some people would call today “magical realism.”. Believed in me as a fiction writer before I ever believed in myself. Amy Tan: It’s hard for me to say objectively. When you read about the Civil War, a lot of people, like my husband, can say my great-great-grandfather fought in that war. How do you deal with parental expectations? I had backaches. It said things like “My name is Amy Tan. That’s what I think life is like, too. And by that definition, I am someone who has always loved language. History really is a record of behaviors and intentions and actions and consequences. Amy Tan: I actually started doing some other kinds of writing before I wrote the fiction. I was scared by the way people measured everything by numbers: where I was on a list, or how many weeks, or how many books I had sold. We all need to do that. She examines certain aspects of the language she speaks and writes, against the language her mother speaks and writes. It started off with family. It gave her a new perspective on her often-difficult relationship with her mother, and inspired her to complete the book of stories she had promised her agent. I didn’t want to become cynical. So I just about this very large morass of beliefs and how muddled they are getting, especially as the world gets more crowded, but also much more international, where a mix of things must co-exist. I wonder what kind of writer I would have been if I had had that kind of privileged upbringing. For example, that all people should have freedom of expression and when you carry that to a religious point of view you realize different people have beliefs about life after death, and karma and reincarnation, and damnation and salvation, or nothing. I would like to write a song. You know, I imagine these things that I would have gone through. This was a moment when I thought for sure my life was over. It’s just crystal clear what’s important. So maybe you should think about this question, what is your voice?” That’s a question I still ask myself today as a writer. My parents said, “You’re going to be a doctor.” It wasn’t until I was 33 years old that I started writing fiction. You’ll find out how many American assumptions you have and it will give you a sense of perspective and humor about the whole idea that identity is what you create. And I saw in China that she got in arguments with Chinese people. I realize now that the most important thing that is an American Dream — in looking at people living in other countries, in looking at the life my sisters had not growing up in this country — is the American freedom to create your own identity. It was a real high moment in my life, hearing her say that. I can tell her to this day — she still doesn’t believe this — I swear on camera that this man did nothing more than kiss me. Well suddenly they were shocked to find this mother saying, “You didn’t cook this long enough,” or “This is too salty,” and “Why do you wear that? Title: Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan - mother tounge Author: Heather Simon Created Date: 8/1/2013 6:09:07 PM I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression. Amy Tan: Reading for me was a refuge. What kind of a kid were you? That the people who have achieved more probably are those who always say, “I don’t deserve this.” Because they were doing exactly what they loved to do, and what ended up being quite helpful, maybe, to other people. I meet writers these days. I hope it continues to support that. He deserted from the German Army. It had absolutely no relevance. He said, “So what do you think you’re going to do?” I said, “I’m going to freelance write.” He said, “Oh, fat chance. I loved to read. And by God the little mother pulled through, so I went to China. I knew he was pretty low. I go to a writer’s group every week. Amy Tan: I would say that half of it was adversity. I would still like to have that luxury, to be able to just sit and draw for hours and hours and hours. And it turned out, much to my delight, that he was also the father of an illegitimate child, which made him even more despicable in my mother’s eyes. 1 extremely important: She thought he was a good eater, that he liked Chinese food.". She had been raised in an atmosphere of fear, that fear was the way to control children for their own good. I had no time to sleep. I wasn’t in love with him when I first met him, but I knew he was a good person. Anything that was unreasonable, I said was Chinese so I made the culture the scapegoat. As for the other writing, fiction writing, there are so many people. It turned out that his friends were dealing drugs: hashish or marijuana. She read my stuff and she was very gentle and also very encouraging. She killed herself because she had no other way to escape. If I thought lightning had eyes and would follow me and strike me down, that’s what would happen. Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the our 24/7 digital news network. Although they are primarily concerned with the lives and concerns of Asian-American women, her stories have found an enthusiastic audience among Americans of all backgrounds, and have been translated into 35 languages. And it also featured Mrs.Tan's ceaseless efforts both to protect and prod Amy. That crisis helped me to define what was important for me. I was solitary and later I became a rebellious kid. I give credit to something beyond me. Deep down, I wanted to be an artist but I knew you couldn’t make any money being an artist. These little girls, they’re only eight and six and they are already so afraid to be wrong. In fact, one of the subjects I hated the most was history. Amy Tan: It took me a long time to understand what the American Dream was. The gossip about people’s character that went around as my aunt and my mother shelled peas on the dining table covered with newspaper. “You think I’m bad now? I had an agent who, by luck, read my stuff in a little magazine and wanted to be my agent. These are the things that are important to me and my family. Her subsequent novel, The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991), confirmed her reputation and enjoyed excellent sales. Background & Summary of Mother Tongue. Amy Tan ends her essay, “Mother Tongue” with this short and even grammatically wrong sentence. All of those things are so important in how you deal with the changes that happen in life — how you deal with your successes, your failures, with love, with loss. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in these fields at San Jose State University. And she said, 'No. And he would not stop. It makes life fascinating and a wonder. Sometimes I think it’s because I’m a baby-boomer and what I wrote about are very normal emotions and conflicts that many people have, so somehow it struck a universal chord. How should I feel about this?”. It makes you look terrible.” They were shocked too. I was trying very hard to see if I understood the whole book, because it had a lot of big words in it. Fortunately, I didn’t. You have every right to have things get better and better, and equal opportunity and all of that. What better gift can I give my mother than to finally sit down and listen to her entire story, hour after hour after hour? As a freelance business writer, she worked on projects for AT&T, IBM, Bank of America, and Pacific Bell, writing under non-Chinese-sounding pseudonyms. I think of them all as being very kind and dedicated. Was there anyone who gave you a first big break? And this really all was very sincere, but at the end (this is why I think I won this essay contest), I made a pitch for money, which, of course, is what ministers do at the end of their talks. This time, she was inspired by a photograph of her grandmother, a concubine who committed suicide when Amy Tan's mother was 9 years old. How did you come to write The Joy Luck Club? I loved gruesome gothic tales and, in that respect, I liked Bible stories, because to me they were very gothic. Anything that had a degree of the fantastic. I have to make them seem inevitable and yet surprising and plausible. I think that I was in the right time and the right place. I don’t think of my work as being therapeutic or sociological or psychological. When did you know you wanted to become a writer? Facts about Amy Tan talk about the famous American writer who was born on 19 February 1952. No, I must write something completely different. And there, away from everybody, away from the past, away from people who always thought I was this nerdy little girl, I exploded into a wild thing. This invisible force that she taught me, this rebellion that I had. ", "It's funny," says Tan. Tan also balances each part of the rhetorical triangle very effective and thoughtful essay. Is it fate? The danger is in creating the idea that somebody else is going to define the purpose of literature and confine who has access to it.