Saturday, February 25, 2006

CHINESE READS

I love to read. I have had an appetite for books all my life. I sometimes wonder if adopting my daughter from China was a preconceived idea when I was a Teen in Middle School. I remember when I first discovered Pearl S. Buck. The Good Earth was required 7th grade reading. I was fascinated and relished in the beauty of the sweet deep concept of the rich brown earth being the destiny of man. Quickly I devoured Dragon Seed and Peony. I will say that this experience at such a young age formed my foundation for the love of reading Asian inspired literature. I have since revisited all three books many times, each time taking with me a richer and deeper love and awareness of the Chinese Culture.

Books can educate and transform a person into the history and the ways of people. I have discovered other reads from favorite Authors like Amy Tan and Gail Tsukiyama. Each in their own right addressing part of the history and life of women in China. I know that Amy Tan is well known from novels like The Joy Luck Club. But I will tell you of a favorite writter by the name of Gail Tsukiyama. If you have not heard or read her works, I highly recommend starting with Women of Silk and the follow up The Language of Threads. These books address the issues of young girls who are sold into the silk industry and the sisterhood of these women. Fascinating.

Inspiring and appauling I have started a novel by Lisa See….. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. This book brings you into the tradition of foot binding (AKA Golden Lillies) and the everyday life of women during the Emperor of Daonguang’s reign (1820’s)… I am only a few pages into it, but it is AMAZING!!

Will this help me with the raising of my daughter Tate??? Who knows…. But it gives me insight and compassion for the history of Chinese women concerning the beauty, sorrow and triumph which is the genetic make-up pulsing through her veins.

9 comments:

Shannon S said...

I LOVED Snow Flower and the Secret Fan! Got it for Christmas and found it fascinating. Enjoy!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for the book recommendation. I read The Good Earth when it was an Oprah book last year and really enjoyed it. I just saw The Snow Flower And The Secret Fan in our local bookstore on Friday. I was tempted to buy it but hesitated since I have tons of books yet to be read on my bookshelf. Maybe I will just have to get it!

Joannah said...

I've enjoyed several historical fiction books set in China over the years. It was through those books that I, too, developed an appreciation for Chinese history and culture. This summer, I hope to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I've heard from several people how good it is. ;-)

Kim M. said...

I love the Good Earth. I love Pearl Buck. What a good person. I'm up next for book club and guess what we will be reading. Anyway it's a good way for me to talk about China with other people. I love to do that every chance I get. Thanks for recommending the other books. I'll check them out.

Shelli said...

Love a great book! I will be pickinging up Snow Flower and the Secret Fan this week.

Joannah said...

p.s. A couple of books I've read in the past are Cloud Mountain, by Aimee Liu, and The Binding Chair, by Kathryn Harrison. Both of them were fascinating!

Alice said...

Hello,

I just finished "Letters from Peking" and now I am reading "Imperial Women" by Pearl S. Book---excellent!!

I just bought "Snow Flower.." this weekend and I can't wait to begin that...

I will have to get "The Good Earth"

Happy waiting!
Alice

Anonymous said...

Snowflower and the Secret Fan is a great book, but make sure to read Lisa See's other books, too. On Gold Mountain is a biographical treatment of her Chinese family's originis in the US and I found it fascinating. It's especially fascinating to see a green-eyed, red-haired woman identify as Chinese American, LOL! (She says she was born with a Monglian spot on her lower back, too.)

Happy reading!

TW

Christi said...

I'll have to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, it sounds good. Did you ever see The Inn of the Sixth Happiness with Ingrid Bergman? She plays Gladys Alyward, and English missionary to China who unbinds the feet. It's an awesome movie. She adopts a little abandoned baby girl and then ends up with 100 children during the war. I love watching it. I just read the Good Earth for the first time this year, it was so good. Hmmm, maybe I will blog about it so more people can enjoy it.