Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min

By Anchee Min

From the best-selling writer of crimson AZALEA, this remarkable novel tells the stirring, erotically charged tale of Madame Mao Zedong, the girl nearly universally referred to as the 'white-boned demon,' whom many carry without delay chargeable for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Bringing her lush mental perception to endure at the evidence of historical past, Min penetrates the parable surrounding this lady and gives a "convincing, nuanced portrait of a broken character" (Entertainment Weekly) pushed by means of ambition, betrayal, and a never-to-be-fulfilled have to be enjoyed. With the entire compressed drama and excessive lyrical poetry of significant opera, changing into MADAME MAO is a "remarkable accomplishment . . . Madame Mao is ultimately given her personal voice" (Ha Jin).

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No trace that Mao and I were once lovers unto death. The mother tells the daughter that both her father and she hate cowards. The words have no effect. Nah is too beaten. The mother thinks of her as a rotten piece of wood that can never be made into a beautiful piece of furniture. She is so afraid that her voice trembles when she speaks. The mother can't recognize any part of herself in the daughter. The mother repeats the ancient story of Cima-Qinhua, the brave girl who saved her mother from a bloody riot.

Her discomfort is written all over her face. During the performance she forgets her job—to pop out of a tree. Inside she is tortured. She thinks of herself as a much better performer. Some evil hands are always there trying to bind my feet, Madame Mao will say. Even when winds buffet me from all directions, I never give up hope. This is my biggest virtue. Someone said that it was by accident that I sprouted. No. It was no accident. I created my own opportunity. Raining or snowing, I never missed one show.

I look for acting jobs. I have to try. But the city is cold to me. Wherever I go, my Shan-dong-accented Mandarin brings laughs. None of my auditions ring back. Two months later, I am completely broke. No one wants to lend me money. No one believes that I will ever have a future as an actress. It doesn't bother me at the beginning. But when I am cold and hungry, I begin to doubt myself. The girl comes back from Beijing and consents to her grandparents' wish—she will marry. She is seventeen. The husband's name is Fei, a fan of hers when she played The Incident on the Lake.

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