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Empress Orchid

Empress Orchid
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher: HMH
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2005-04-11
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0547347200

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“A fascinating novel, similar to Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha . . . A revisionist portrait of a beautiful and strong-willed woman” (Houston Chronicle). A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year From Anchee Min, a master of the historical novel, Empress Orchid sweeps readers into the heart of the Forbidden City to tell the fascinating story of a young concubine who becomes China’s last empress. Min introduces the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid, and weaves an epic of the country girl who seized power through seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. When China is threatened by enemies, she alone seems capable of holding the country together. In this “absorbing companion piece to her novel Becoming Madame Mao,” readers and reading groups will once again be transported by Min’s lavish evocation of the Forbidden City in its last days of imperial glory and by her brilliant portrait of a flawed yet utterly compelling woman who survived, and ultimately dominated, a male world (The New York Times). “Superb . . . [An] unforgettable heroine.” —People “A sexually charged, eye-opening portrayal of the Chinese empire . . . with heart-wrenching scenes of desperate failure and a sensuality that rises off its heated pages.” —Elle


The Last Empress

The Last Empress
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher: HMH
Total Pages: 321
Release: 2008-04-07
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0547346905

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“Admirers of Empress Orchid will be interested in this sequel. Others may find the introduction to relatively modern Chinese history a revelation” (Rocky Mountain News). During the tumultuous end of the nineteenth century in China, the only constant was the power wielded by one person: the resilient, ever-resourceful Tzu Hsi, Lady Yehonala—or Empress Orchid—as readers came to know her in Anchee Min’s critically acclaimed novel covering the first part of her life. In The Last Empress, Orchid moves from the intimacy of the concubine quarters into the spotlight of the world stage. Devastating personal losses take their toll, leaving her yearning to step aside, but only she—allied with the progressives, but loyal to the conservative Manchu clan of her dynasty—can hold the nation’s rival factions together. Anchee Min offers a powerful revisionist portrait based on extensive research of one of the most important figures in Chinese history. Viciously maligned by the western press of the time as the “Dragon Lady,” a manipulative, blood-thirsty woman who held onto power at all costs, the woman Min gives us is a compelling, very human leader who assumed power reluctantly, and who sacrificed all she had to protect those she loved and an empire that was doomed to die. “The vision of an empress who very nearly had it all: vulnerability and strength, motherhood and power, earthiness and dignity, compassion and ambition.” —The Washington Post “Invokes the intrigue and opulence of nineteenth-century China while telling the story of its improbably dominant ruler.” —Los Angeles Times


Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher: HMH
Total Pages: 243
Release: 2004-01-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0547349378

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Two girls come of age during the horrors of China’s Cultural Revolution in this novel by the national bestselling author of Empress Orchid. The young and beautiful Wild Ginger is only in elementary school, but has already survived hell through her sheer iron will. Singled out by the Red Guards for her “foreign-colored eyes,” she has seen her deceased father branded a traitor and her mother commit suicide under the oppressive weight of persecution. But the young Wild Ginger will not allow herself to be taken down. Nor will she turn her back on other martyrs—like sweet Maple, daughter of a teacher of Chinese history, survivor of a labor camp, and victim of daily brutal beatings by a gang girl called Hot Pepper. While the two become fast friends over their shared ostracism, it is Wild Ginger who will take her Maoist principles to the extreme, becoming no less than a national model for the revolutionary Communist doctrine. But when both self-possessed young girls begin to feel a prohibited romantic love for the same boy, all three of them will face mortal danger. In this novel, the author of Pearl of China and the New York Times Notable Book Red Azalea “continues her extraordinarily acute inquiry into the wounded psyches of martyrs…and survivors of China's horrific Cultural Revolution… As in all her unsparing, compelling, and transcendent books, Min discerns both the vulnerability and strength of individuals and, more disturbingly, unveils the eroticism of pain. Given our own times, Min's taut and compassionate tale of oppressed teenagers kept in ignorance of the wider world, children brainwashed into performing acts of violence and self-destruction, is especially urgent.”—Booklist


Empress Dowager Cixi

Empress Dowager Cixi
Author: Jung Chang
Publisher: Random House Canada
Total Pages: 431
Release: 2013-10-29
Genre: History
ISBN: 0307363120

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From the beloved, internationally bestselling author of Wild Swans, and co-author of the bestselling Mao: The Unknown Story, the dramatic, epic biography of the unusual woman who ruled China for 50 years, from concubine to Empress, overturning centuries of traditions and formalities to bring China into the modern world. A woman, an Empress of immense wealth who was largely a prisoner within the compound walls of her palaces, a mother, a ruthless enemy, and a brilliant strategist: Chang makes a compelling case that Cixi was one of the most formidable and enlightened rulers of any nation. Cixi led an intense and singular life. Chosen at the age of 12 to be a concubine by the Emperor Xianfeng, she gave birth to his only male heir who at four was designated Emperor when his father died in 1861. In a brilliant move, the young woman enlisted the help of the Emperor's widow and the two women orchestrated a coup that ousted the regents and made Cixi sole Regent. Untrained and untaught, the two studied history and politics together, ruling the huge nation from behind a curtain. When her boy died, Cixi designated a young nephew as Emperor, continuing her reign till her death in 1908. Chang gives us a complex, riveting portrait of Cixi through a reign as long as that of her fellow Empress, Victoria, whom she longed to meet: her ruthlessness in fighting off rivals; her curiosity to learn; her reliance on Westerners who she placed in key positions; and her sensitivity and desire to preserve the distinctiveness of China's past while overturning traditions (she, as Chang reveals--not Mao, as he claimed--banned footbinding) and exposing its culture to western ideas and technology.


Pearl of China

Pearl of China
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total Pages: 305
Release: 2011-05-12
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1408809796

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In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, two young girls from very different worlds collide and become inseparable companions. Willow is hardened by poverty and fearful for her future; Pearl is the daughter of a Christian missionary who desperately wishes she was Chinese too. Neither could have foreseen the transformation of the little American girl embarrassed by her blonde hair into the Nobel Prize-winning writer and one of China's modern heroines, Pearl S. Buck. When the country erupts in civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists, Pearl and Willow are brutally reminded of their differences. Pearl's family is forced to flee the country and Willow is punished for her loyalty to her 'cultural imperialist' friend. And yet, in the face of everything that threatens to tear them apart, the paths of these two women remain intimately entwined.


Red Azalea

Red Azalea
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher: A&C Black
Total Pages: 265
Release: 2012-11-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 1408840855

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The acclaimed memoir from the bestselling author of Empress Orchid 'Historically remarkable ... intensely moving' SUNDAY TIMES 'The book sings. It is a small masterpiece' VOGUE Born into a devoutly Maoist family in 1950s Shanghai and forced to work on a communal farm from the age of seventeen, Anchee Min found herself in an alienating and hostile political climate, where her only friendships were perilous and intense. Both candid and touching, this compelling memoir documents her isolation and illicit love against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution. From her coming of age in the Red Guard to her recruitment into Madame Mao's burgeoning industry of propaganda movies, Red Azalea explores the secret sensuality of a repressive society with elegance and honesty.


Becoming Madame Mao

Becoming Madame Mao
Author: Anchee Min
Publisher:
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2009
Genre: China
ISBN: 9780753182369

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This is an evocation of the woman who married Chairman Mao and fought to succeed him. The unwanted daughter of a concubine, she refused to have her feet bound, ran away to join an opera troupe and eventually met Mao Zedong in the mountains of Yenan.


The Moon in the Palace

The Moon in the Palace
Author: Weina Dai Randel
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Total Pages: 380
Release: 2016-03-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1492613576

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"Randel's gorgeous debut novel seductively pulls back the curtain to reveal the heartbreaking world of...China."—Stephanie Dray, NYT bestselling Author of America's First Daughter A thrilling work of historical fiction, bringing romance, intrigue, and the unexpected rise of an Empress to intoxicating life under the inscrutable moon. In Tang Dynasty China, a concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's attention. Many hope to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of seduction to draw his interest. Young Mei knows nothing of these womanly arts, yet she will give the Emperor a gift he can never forget. Mei's intelligence and curiosity, the same traits that make her an outcast among the other concubines, impress the Emperor. But just as she is in a position to seduce the most powerful man in China, divided loyalties split the palace in two, culminating in a perilous battle that Mei can only hope to survive. In the breakthrough first volume in the Empress of Bright Moon duology, Weina Dai Randel paints a vibrant portrait of the Emperor's Palace—where love, ambition, and loyalty can spell life or death—and the woman who came to rule all of ancient China. "I absolutely loved The Moon in the Palace... A rare and beautiful treasure."—Elizabeth Chadwick, NYT bestselling author Winner of RWA RITA® Award 2017 Recommended by Texas Library Association's 2017 Lariat Reading List One of the Biggest Historical Fiction books of 2016 by Bookbub One of Washington Independent Reviews of Book's 25 Favorite Books of 2016 A San Francisco Book Festival Honorable Mention


The Empress of Bright Moon

The Empress of Bright Moon
Author: Weina Dai Randel
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Total Pages: 365
Release: 2016-04-05
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1492613606

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"The author's talent for dramatic, well-timed dialogue, and portrayal of women's friendships and emotions-especially dislikes, jealousy, and fear - intensifies the reader's understanding of palace intrigue."—Booklist, STARRED Review The time for taking hold of her destiny is now At the moment of the Emperor's death, everything changes in the palace. Mei, his former concubine, is free, and Pheasant, the heir and Mei's lover, is proclaimed as the new Emperor, heralding a new era in China. But just when Mei believes she's closer to her dream, Pheasant's chief wife, Lady Wang, powerful and unpredictable, turns against Mei and takes unthinkable measures to stop her. The power struggle that ensues will determine Mei's fate–and that of China. Surrounded by enemies within the palace that she calls home, Mei continues her journey to the throne in The Empress of Bright Moon, the second book in Weina Dai Randel's acclaimed duology. Only by fighting back against those who wish her harm will Mei be able to realize her destiny as the most powerful woman in China.


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
Publisher: A&C Black
Total Pages: 353
Release: 2011-10-17
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1408821621

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Lily is the daughter of a humble farmer, and to her family she is just another expensive mouth to feed. Then the local matchmaker delivers startling news: if Lily's feet are bound properly, they will be flawless. In nineteenth-century China, where a woman's eligibility is judged by the shape and size of her feet, this is extraordinary good luck. Lily now has the power to make a good marriage and change the fortunes of her family. To prepare for her new life, she must undergo the agonies of footbinding, learn nu shu, the famed secret women's writing, and make a very special friend, Snow Flower. But a bitter reversal of fortune is about to change everything.