Read a book from each country discussion

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message 1: by L (new)

L (not_ophelia) | 30 comments The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, written by Maxine Hong Kingston, is in my opinion one of the quintessential modern Chinese texts written in English.

And of course, I would be remiss not to mention Amy Tan in this category as her books deal heavily with Chinese identity, my favorite of hers being The Bonesetter's Daughter.


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 96 comments Mao's Last Dancer


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (zhelicarol) The Good Earth by Pearl Buck and The Painted Veil by W.Sommerset Maugham


message 4: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (jodilin) | 2 comments I just returned from China and have read a lot of books recently about this country. My favorites are Snowflower and the Secret Fan, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Empress Orchid, and The Last Empress. I enjoyed seeing the various places mentioned in these books and trying the tea or foods. I also enjoyed hearing how the Chinese thought of "The Dragon Lady" from Chinese history. The Chinese people I talked with despised her, but I found myself sympathizing with her in Empress Orchid and The Last Empress. If I have time I should go back and reread these two books now that I have a little more knowledge about this historical person. I have read about 10 books on China but in my opinion the four I mentioned are my favorite! Would I be as sympathetic now that I have more information than just that which the author provided?


message 5: by KrisT (new)

KrisT I just read Factory Girls by Leslie T Chang it is a non-fiction about Chang's return trip to China and she follows two young Chinese migrant workers from village to city to work in the factories.


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex 'Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio' is a classic must read for anyone interested in knowing a bit about ancient chinese folklore, myth, and deviant thought processes.

The writer Pu Song Lin was like the Edgar Allan Poe or Steven King of Ancient China.
Despite being written in the Qing Dynasty they still had the ability to put a shiver down my spine. There are some very quirky, grose and even funny tales in there aswell.

Don't buy the old translations the new one by Professor John Minford is much more enjoyable to read and has not been censored like the old Giles translation. As a result there are alot of unexpected sexual escapades.

2006 Pu Songling蒲松齡, Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio聊齋誌異, London, Penguin Classics, xxxviii + 562 pp. (including lengthy introduction, glossary and bibliography)

The introduction glossary and bibliography were also very interesting.


message 7: by Bonnie (new)


message 8: by ilona (new)

ilona (svaubajkama) The Last Empress
I totally enjoyed reading it.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Billick | 1 comments Peter Hessler's nonfiction series is quite good. I'd start with River Town.


message 10: by Kirstie (new)

Kirstie Peden | 7 comments Brothers along with many others by the same author.


message 11: by Daren (new)

Daren | 13 comments ilona wrote: "The Last Empress
I totally enjoyed reading it."


Yes, The Girl Who Played Go by the same author was also good.


message 13: by Judy (last edited Sep 27, 2012 06:53PM) (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 13 comments I've done a lot of reading about China this year. The best non-fiction books have been:
The Last Days of Old Beijing Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer
Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin and The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang


message 14: by Annalie (new)

Annalie Jodi wrote: "I just returned from China and have read a lot of books recently about this country. My favorites are Snowflower and the Secret Fan, The Bonesetter's Daughter, Empress Orchid, and The Last Empress..."
Lisa See's books are wonderful and gives us insight into Chinese culture and way of thinking.
Peony in Love sounds like "chick lit" but the title is very misleading. It actually gave me an in depth understanding of the Chinese beliefs about life after death.
Her Shanghai Girls and the sequel, Dreams of Joy are also brilliant.


message 16: by Olga (new)

Olga | 3 comments I loved Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China


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