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Empress Orchid: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2005
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
“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
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/11/2005
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780547347202
ASIN:
B003JTHWR8
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Anchee Min. (2005). Empress Orchid: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Anchee Min. 2005. Empress Orchid: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Anchee Min, Empress Orchid: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Anchee Min. Empress Orchid: A Novel. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:46:11
Date Updated:
Jul 16, 2023 03:09:05
Last Metadata Check:
May 26, 2024 07:36:44
Last Metadata Change:
Feb 24, 2024 09:00:19
Last Availability Check:
May 26, 2024 07:36:47
Last Availability Change:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She came to the United States in 1984 with the help of actress Joan Chen. Her memoir, Red Azalea, was named one of the New York Times Notable Books of 1994 and was an international bestseller, with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels Becoming Madame Mao and Empress Orchid were published to critical acclaim and were national bestsellers. Her two other novels, Katherine and Wild Ginger, were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales.
      • name: Anchee Min
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2005-04-11T00:00:00-04:00
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title
Empress Orchid
fullDescription
“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
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 19, 2004
        Talk about story arc: poor girl from rural China auditions for a job as royal concubine, winds up as emperor's wife number four, gives birth to the "last Emperor," rules China as regent for 46 years. The fascinating, implausible life of Tsu Hsi, or "Orchid," was reviled by the revolutionary Chinese, but here it receives a sympathetic treatment from Min (Red Azalea
        ; Becoming Madame Mao
        ), who once again brilliantly lifts the public mask of a celebrated woman to reveal a contradictory character. Sexually assertive, intellectually ambitious, socially striving, Min's Orchid is also "isolated, tense, and in some vague but very real way, dissatisfied." Even after giving birth to the emperor's only son, Orchid feels trapped by the stultifying imperial rituals and persecuted by the other residents of the Forbidden City: six other royal wives, 3,000 invisible concubines and 2,000 scheming eunuchs. In addition to these powerful distractions, she has to discipline her overindulged son, outmaneuver the ruthless politician Su Shun (who wants her buried alive when the emperor dies) and advise the ailing emperor how to fend off both the Boxers and the Western "barbarians." Min, herself a survivor of China's Cultural Revolution, has done a prodigious amount of on-site research to capture the glorious, hopeless last days of the Ching dynasty. At times her writing is textbook-flat, and she sometimes loses track of her teeming cast of characters (for example, Orchid's dangerous mother-in-law and mentally ill sister). But readers will be enthralled by the gorgeously woven cultural tapestry and the psychologically astute portrait of the empress—a talented girl from the provinces who married (way) up. (Feb. 3)

        Forecast:
        Empress Orchid does for 19th-century China what
        Becoming Madame Mao did for the People's Republic and stands a good chance of matching the latter's success. If it does, readers will clamor for Min's promised sequel (the novel ends when Orchid comes to power) and the film prospects (rights have been optioned by Oliver Stone—imagine Bertolucci's
        The Last Emperor with a conspiracy twist) will look even better. Fourteen-city author tour.

popularity
119
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shortDescription
“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...
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      • description: Fiction / Contemporary Women