Becoming Madame Mao

Becoming Madame Mao

Book - 2001
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From the Publisher: In a sweeping, erotically charged story that moves gracefully from the intimately personal to the great stage of world history, Anchee Min renders a powerful tale of passion, betrayal, and survival and creates a finely nuanced and always ambiguous portrait of one of the most fascinating, and vilified, women of the twentieth century. Madame Mao is almost universally known as the "white-boned demon"--Ambitious, vindictive, and cruel-whose bid to succeed her husband led to the death of millions. But Min's story begins with a young girl named Yunhe, the unwanted daughter of a concubine who ignored her mother's pleas and refused to have her feet bound. It was the first act of rebellion for this headstrong, beautiful, and charismatic girl. She later fled the miseries of her family life, first to a provincial opera troupe, then to Shanghai and fame as an actress, and finally to the arid, mountainous regions of Yenan, where she fell in love with and married Mao Zedong. The great revolutionary leader proved to be an inattentive husband with a voracious appetite for infidelity, but the couple stayed together through the Communist victory, the disastrous Great Leap Forward, and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Min uses the facts of history and her lush, penetrating psychological imagination to take us beyond the myth of the person who so greatly influenced an entire generation of Chinese. The result is a complex portrait of a woman who railed against the confines of her culture, whose deep-seated insecurities propelled her to reinvent herself constantly, and whose ambition was matched only by her ferocious, never-to-be-fulfilled need to be loved. A daring narrative with all the compressed drama and high lyrical poetry of great opera, BECOMING MADAME MAO is the most ambitious and provocative work of Anchee Min's career.
Publisher: Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin, 2001
Edition: 1st Mariner Books ed
Copyright Date: ©2000
ISBN: 9780618127009
Branch Call Number: FICTION MIN
Characteristics: 337, [3] pages ; 21 cm


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Aug 18, 2018

A // fictionalized \\ - - but close on target - - account of Madam Mao's life and the hardships forming her self and character along the way. Most interesting read by Anchee Min, a most intrepid author who certainly possesses the crucial background to write on such a subject!

Jane60201 Mar 05, 2014

Helped me to understand a period of Chinese history I was vaguely aware of but never really took the trouble to explore. This is certainly a painless way of learning history as the book is so well written. Want to read more by this author.

Sep 30, 2011

This is a fascinating novel of Mme Mao's life. Told in an eastern voice - what matters, how it is expressed - soooo interesting and so very different from CanLit or Amlit, or colonial Britlit for that matter. Gripping, naturally, given the subject. Hmm; such a big story, yet still a single, specific woman. Phew; can't like her, can love the book.


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