EMPRESS ORCHID BY ANCHEE MIN PDF

Shelves: historical , gift , owned-challenge Bullet Review: So bittersweet at the end. The biggest problem with this though was how hurried and rushed it felt in places. But there are trials and struggles, internal and external, not to mention a media and Western world that Bullet Review: So bittersweet at the end. But there are trials and struggles, internal and external, not to mention a media and Western world that loves to portray her as a tyrant and despot. Who is the real Empress Orchid?

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Shelves: historical , gift , owned-challenge Bullet Review: So bittersweet at the end. The biggest problem with this though was how hurried and rushed it felt in places. But there are trials and struggles, internal and external, not to mention a media and Western world that Bullet Review: So bittersweet at the end.

But there are trials and struggles, internal and external, not to mention a media and Western world that loves to portray her as a tyrant and despot.

Who is the real Empress Orchid? Maybe this book shows a side that traditional historical writers have omitted. Nearly two years ago, I had the great opportunity to read "Empress Orchid" , a fascinating look at Orchid from her childhood to when she became Empress.

This book picks up almost immediately after it - but instead of focusing on a tighter timeline, it goes from to the time of her death in In trying to cover nearly 50 years, Anchee Min has to pick and choose what to focus on in her book, to summarize big events and sail over dozens of years to make sure she can fit everything into pages.

It is my wish that instead of a duology, this had been a trilogy. The first 20 or so pages were pretty rough as a LOT of summarizing and "time warping" occurred to get Tung Chih from a boring age 5 to a more interesting teenager and actual Emperor. Where is that?! This sort of pattern - summarizing, then slowing down to get into a scene - pretty much takes place the entire book, though the beginning and the ends are the worst offenders.

Min knows how to paint a scene and make her vibrant characters jump to life on the page. She also knows how to communicate this very different culture to a Western audience.

It makes me really sad at these moments to be an American and to know my ancestors helped to tear apart another country, all in the name of Imperialism or capitalism or what-have-you.

I have a hard time buying the "evil tyrant" stereotype. The very end was so very sad and bittersweet, I wanted to bawl on an airplane and I never cry. A good, sad story, but a sad one nonetheless. Anchee Min does such a delightful job with this story, giving nuance to history, and it was a joy to be able to read it. Thank you, to my Book Buddy Iset , who gave this to me!!

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Behind the wall

It is written in first person and is a sympathetic account of the life of Empress Dowager Cixi - from her humble beginnings to her rise as the Empress Dowager. Names within the story are different in spelling but retain the same pronunciation - allowing the reader to identify each relevant character to his or her real life counterpart. Plot summary[ edit ] The novel follows the life of a young Manchu girl named Orchid Yehonala. The story begins with the death of her father who was once a governor of Wuhu. His death left Orchid, her two siblings and her mother in poverty. His family travel to his birthplace Peking with his coffin for burial.

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The Last Empress

This very partial version of events swallows whole the Confucian Chinese male view of history, which, wherever possible, deflects blame for monumental historical catastrophes - such as the collapse of the Qing dynasty in - on to women. But the tide of opinion now seems to be turning for the last empress. Last year, Chinese television aired a hit drama series about the last years of the Qing dynasty, in which viewers were flabbergasted to see Cixi portrayed as "a nice person". Empress Orchid is a further, feminist step on the road to her rehabilitation. Written by a woman, narrated by Cixi herself, the novel turns the last empress into a dignified, discreet sovereign, holding her country together in the face of foreign invasion, dissolute emperors and scheming courtiers. Born into a declining gentry family in , the year-old Cixi travels to Beijing with her widowed mother, brother and sister.

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Empress Orchid

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