The Valley of Amazement
By Amy Tan
(Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780062107329, 608pp.)
Publication Date: July 2014
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New York Times bestseller The Valley of Amazement is an evocative epic of two women's intertwined fates and their search for identity--from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village
Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Spanning more than forty years and two continents, Amy Tan's newest novel maps the lives of three generations of women--and the mystery of an evocative painting known as "The Valley of Amazement." Moving from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the growth of anti-foreign sentiment and the inner workings of courtesan houses, The Valley of Amazement interweaves the story of Violet, a celebrated Shanghai courtesan on a quest for both love and identity, and her mother, Lucia, an American woman whose search for penance leads them to an unexpected reunion.
The Valley of Amazement is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, legacies, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters, reminiscent of the compelling territory Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace, and humor, Tan conjures up a story of inherited trauma, desire, deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.
Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, and most recently, The Valley of Amazement. We'll ask her three questions about just how far people will go to achieve that golden bronze look. More at NPR.org
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