To be able to do art, it was a luxury to me.
I understood that without English I would never get far, so my dream was to become a receptionist, and so I started to learn English from watching ‘Sesame Street.’
The self was a very strange concept to me until I came to America, and my child was born with that entitlement, and that just thrilled me.
Of course I have the license to make up things, but I think a lot of what’s written about China is misleading, and most Americans don’t know much about China, in-depth, even though China is such a crucial business partner, rival, whatever.
There are a lot of things that immigrants, especially Chinese-Americans, want to share with their children, but there are a lot of things they don’t want to share.
My goal was to do anything that would lead to a job. I know that writing would not lead to a job. It’s too fancy for me. My biggest goal was to be an office receptionist, answer phones. I didn’t expect to go beyond that.
When I first came to America, you know, I would look at the newsstands and see the women on the magazine covers. I had never seen anyone smile the way these girls smile! It’s like they have nothing to worry about!
When Chinese get together – what’s buried stays buried. We don’t even discuss our embarrassing early days struggling in Chicago.
No matter how American I become, I’m considered part of the Chinese community by my own family.
There have been 50 or 60 books written about Empress Orchid, but none of them bothered to really examine the period in China when she lived. I was taught that she was evil; it’s in all the textbooks.