Amy tan personal essay

She suggests answers to this question by her essay.

Asian-American Stereotypes

At my home I speak Urdu with my family but in school I speak English. This situation makes very hard for. Tan describes her mother as an educated person who can read sophisticated and technical literature written in English. Isaac Eng 14 25 November Many writers share their experiences about literacy and language. The writer Helen Keller wrote The Day Language Came into My Life, an essay where she tells the reader her experience with how she learned how to speak, read and write even though she is blind and deaf.

Amy Tan’s “Confessions”: Writing the Short Narrative Personal Essay - Robert Wallace - Cagibi

Amy Tan wrote Mother Tongue, an essay where she talks about the trouble of speaking English as an immigrant in a new country. Frederick Douglass wrote Learning to Read and Write, an essay where.

Two Kinds by Amy Tan Audio

The theme is opposition and how it is necessary to build strength. In the essay" How I Learned to Read and Write", Frederick Douglass explains that he was born into slavery and faced his own ignorance with a resolve to overcome this challenge. Faced with oppression by the master and mistress of the house, a young Frederick Douglass used any means necessary to. Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan Comprehension 1. What Tan is classifying in this essay is the different kinds of English she uses. Tan does illustrate each category she identifies 4. During my early years I was bullied in and out of school.

My first experience with bullying started when I was in daycare. A memoir is a departure of sorts. Why did you decide to switch literary camps? I would say I was lured into writing this book. It was the suggestion of my publisher, Dan Halpern, who thought I needed an in-between book—as in, between my novels. At first he thought we could put together a whole book of our e-mails.

We could turn our e-mails from when we were first getting together into essays about writing. But by then this book had already been announced. And I was stuck writing it. At first I started writing something esoteric about language, but it was coming out all wrong and stiff. So I decided I was just going to write whatever comes to mind. It was going to be a memoir but it was going to be spontaneous.

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How did you decide that spontaneity was the way forward? This was one of the things I learned about creativity. You have to let go of self-consciousness. When I started thinking about this book, I knew that if I felt self-conscious while writing, it would probably come out bit by bit and it would not be as honest. So I told Dan I would send him fifteen to twenty pages of writing every week. I imposed this crazy deadline on myself. I was just writing spontaneous sentences and not doing much in the way of revision.

And this is what came out. Throughout the writing of this book I was both excited and nervous. The process had a suspense to it. Even though I was writing about my life, here, I was writing about what I felt about certain experiences. This was about what I felt about certain experiences and the association of that experience with another, and another beyond that. It was about who I am as an adult and reflecting on the core of these experiences. What was your process? How did you organize the mining of these moments in your life?

I had collected all these things from my family and my own life, not ever thinking that I would write from them. I am sentimental; I have things from my high school, like my student-body card. I had like eighty boxes of this stuff in my garage. I kept them with the idea that I would one day go through them and get rid of a bunch and keep a couple of things.

Then I thought, I will just pull something out of the boxes, and if it intrigues me I will write about it. So the process was: I stuck my hand in a box and what came out I wrote about. The process was surprising, shocking. It was exhilarating, a mix of emotions. It brought about those things you get out of writing—you know, you have these epiphanies and discoveries. It was an affirmation of why we write. How did this differ from writing your novels? Writing fiction allows me the subterfuge of it being fiction. I can change things from real life.

I can still go to an emotional core but not as intensely. Fiction is a way to bring up emotions that I have and to get a better understanding of the situation. But I found that writing memoir brought up ten times the amount of emotion I have while writing fiction. This was truly an unexpected book. You seem to have lived a remarkably dramatic life and so did your mother, so did your grandmother. Your grandmother was likely a courtesan, one who committed suicide by swallowing raw opium. Your mother, in choosing to leave behind an abusive husband in China, also had to leave her daughters behind as she moved to America for a new life.

And I read an article in which you mentioned that you had been sexually molested as a child, held up at gun point, experienced the death of both your father and older brother within six months of each other, and lived with a mother who threatened to kill herself on many occasions, and threatened to kill you with a cleaver on another occasion. In taking stock of this generational trajectory, did you have it in your head that you would one day make sense of all this as a writer?

I was writing about things, and these moments would come up spontaneously, intuitively, naturally, as part of a narrative in which I was trying to make sense of a story. But not to the extent that I did in writing this particular book—there was so much turmoil.

When I examined for this memoir, in a very concentrated way, what it was like to live with my mother and her suicidal rages, it was so painful. The horror of seeing her put her leg out of a car and knowing that she might possibly die. How has that freed you to write autobiographically? I wonder every once in a while what my mother would have thought about the things I wrote in this memoir. Would she have been upset or really happy?

Would she be angry? When she was alive, anytime I wrote about her, even when I wrote terrible things, she was thrilled because it was about her. I could have written that she tried to kill me, and she would have been delighted. My father, a minister, would have been wounded.

Saying Thanks To My Ghosts

In this book I wrote these things about him being sincere but shallow. He depended too much on the pat phrases of the Bible. Rather than truly feeling what somebody was going through, he wanted to solve things and be a good minister.

He was so blind to what was going on in his own family. If so, how do you feel about that decision now? We took out about ten or twelve pieces and there was one, actually, that I debated over. Dan and I agreed that it was a little too risky. It was a letter I wrote to a minister based on having been abused when I was fifteen by their youth minister. This person I was writing to was not the minister when this happened.

I wrote that he is proud of the story of his church but he has to add this to its history. His house of worship has a stain on it.

It goes off the path. Are you happy with that decision or do you regret it? Sometimes you write something and it becomes almost retribution, a desire to get even. In this memoir, I could have written about betrayal. I could have written about people who deeply wounded me, but why?

I could have written about the fact that my mother went through her life feeling betrayed and that is a mark she put on me.