Joy Kogawa Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Joy Kogawa. Here they are! All 14 of them:

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From my years of teaching I know it's the children who say nothing who are in trouble more than the ones who complain.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Some people," Aunt Emily answered sharply, "are so busy seeing all sides of every issue that they neutralize concern and prevent necessary action. There's no strength in seeing all sides unless you can act where real measurable injustice exists. A lot of academic talk just immobilizes the oppressed and maintains oppressors in their positions of power.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Elsewhere, people like Aunt Emily clack away at their typewriters, spreading words like buckshot, aiming at the shadow in the sky.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Life is so short," I said sighing, "the past so long. Shouldn't we turn the page and move on?" "The past is the future," Aunt Emily shot back
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Where do any of us come from in this cold country? Oh Canada, whether you admitted it or not, we come from you we come from you. From the same soil, the slugs and slime and bogs and twigs and roots. We come from the country that plucks its people out like weeds and flings them into the roadside. We grow in ditches and sloughs, untended and spindly. We erupt in the valleys and mountainsides, in small towns and back alleys, sprouting upside-down on the prairies, our hair wild as spiders' legs, our feet rooted nowhere. We grow where we are not seen, we flourish where we are not heard, the thick undergrowth of an unlikely planting. Where do we come from Obasan? We come from cemetaries full of skeletons with wild roses in their grinning teeth. We come from our untold tales that wait for their telling. We come from Canada, this land that is like every land, filled with the wise, the fearful, the compassionate, the corrupt.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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we're a "lower order of people" in one breath we are damned for being "unassailable" and the next there is fear that we'll assimilate. ... If we are educated, the complaint is that we will cease being the "ideal servant".
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Like threads of old spider webs, still sticky and hovering, the past waits for us to submit, or depart. When I least expect it, a memory comes skittering out of the dark, spinning and netting the air, ready to snap me up and ensnare me in old and complex puzzles. Just a glimpse of a worn-out patchwork quilt and the old question comes thudding out of the night again like a great moth. Why did my mother not return? After all these years, I find myself wondering, but with the dullness of expecting no response.
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Joy Kogawa
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Once I came across two ideographs for the word "love." The first contained the root words "heart" and "hand" and "action"-love as hands and heart in action together. The other ideograph, for "passionate love," was formed of "heart," "to tell," and "a long thread.
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Joy Kogawa
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I hate to admit it," she said, "but for all we hear about the States, Canada's capacity for racism seems even worse." "Worse?" "The American Japanese were interned as we were in Canada, and sent off to concentration camps, but their property wasn't liquidated as ours was. And look how quickly the communities reestablished themselves in Los Angeles and San Francisco. We weren't allowed to return to the West Coast like that. We've never recovered from the dispersal policy. But of course that was the government's whole ideaβ€”to make sure we'd never be visible again. Official racism was blatant in Canada.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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some memories, too, might better be forgotten. didn't Obasan once say, "it is better to forget"? what purpose is served by hauling forth the jar of inedible food? if it is not seen, it does not horrify. what is past recall is past pain.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Don't deny the past. Remember everything. If you're bitter, be bitter. Cry it out! Scream! Denial is gangrene.
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Joy Kogawa
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In a time like this, let us trust in God even more. To trust when life is easy is no trust.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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Gentle Mother, we were lost together in our silences. Our wordlessness was our mutual destruction.
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Joy Kogawa (Obasan)
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The handwriting in the letter was as even as waves along the beach, row on row of neat curls and dots, perfect pebbles and shells on an ordered shore.
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Joy Kogawa