Pearl of China

By Anchee Min
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781596916975, 278pp.)

Publication Date: March 30, 2010

List Price: $24.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the April 2010 Indie Notables
“Anchee Min creates a story of friendship and politics in this fictionalized account of Pearl Buck and young Willow. The street urchin and the daughter of an American missionary share both the simplicity of childhood and the conflict of the Chinese revolution. The two are destined to be separated by politics; however, their friendship never falters and lives on in the Buck's writings.”
-- Wendy Foster Leigh, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT


Description

It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.
Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl's family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao's Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.

In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of "Empress Orchid "and "Red Azalea," brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine.




About the Author
Anchee Min was born and raised in Mao s China. A staunch party supporter, she was awarded the lead role in a film to be made by Mao s wife, Jiang Ching, but the death of Mao soon after caused the film to be cancelled. In 1984, Min emigrated to the United States and later wrote the bestselling biography Becoming Madame Mao.


NPR
Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010

Buck's The Good Earth depicted life in a Chinese village. Anchee Min first heard of Buck at age 14, during the Cultural Revolution, when Buck's novel was condemned by Chinese authorities. Nearly 40 years later, Min's novel Pearl of China imagines Buck's young life in China. More at NPR.org

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