Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Don't Think about Doom-But I Know What It Feels Like"

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Don't Think about Doom-But I Know What It Feels Like"

Article excerpt

Amy Tan was born in Oakland, California in 195z to Chinese parents. Her first novel, "The Joy Luck Club", was published in 1989 and later adapted into a major film. She has since published five other novels and two children's books.

What's your earliest memory?

The most vivid happened in the front yard of my first home in Fresno, California. My parents and older brother were on ladders picking fruit. One piece fell on my head, my brother laughed and I cried with indignation. I picked up the fruit and held it in my palm: a soft, fuzzy, golden ball.

Who are your heroes?

I admire many people for specific selfless deeds: Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Peter Knights for founding nature organisation WildAid, Zheng Cao, a mezzo-soprano who healed others while struggling with cancer. Also, those who do compassionate work and stay anonymous. Many women fall into that category.

What was the last book that changed your thinking?

Bernd Heinrich's Mind of the Raven. I became passionate about nature--noting changes over time and interactions with other elements in the ecosphere.

Which political figure, past or present, do you look up to?

Looking up is a dangerous perspective to take when it comes to people who are by their nature political, and thus required to make imperfect compromises.

In which time and place, other than your own, would you like to live?

A timeless place on an island in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, surrounded by marine life, and the writers and composers of the 1930s.

Who would paint your portrait?

Dear God, spare me.

What's your theme tune? …

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