» » Empress Orchid: A Novel

Empress Orchid: A Novel ePub download

by Anchee Min

  • Author: Anchee Min
  • ISBN: 0618068872
  • ISBN13: 978-0618068876
  • ePub: 1322 kb | FB2: 1224 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Genre Fiction
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (February 3, 2004)
  • Pages: 352
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Votes: 184
  • Format: lit docx azw mobi
Empress Orchid: A Novel ePub download

Empress Orchid book

Richly detailed and completely gripping, Empress Orchid is a novel of high drama and lyricism and the first volume of a trilogy about the life of one of the most important women in history.

Empress Orchid (2004) is a novel by Anchee Min which was first published in Great Britain in 2004. 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.

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

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.

Anchee min. Bloomsbury. First published in Great Britain 2004. ISBN 0 4. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. From 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's purpose is to show Empress Orchid's heroic effort to revive China. Although Orchid failed, she's courageous in Min's eyes. Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Mariner Books. Membership Advantages.

Электронная книга "Empress Orchid: A Novel, Book 1", Anchee Min. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Empress. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Empress Orchid: A Novel, Book 1" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

Considering Anchee Min grew up in China and, according to her author biography . Empress Orchid delivers a fictional peek into the intrigues of the Forbidden City and a novel take on the much reviled last empress.

Empress Orchid delivers a fictional peek into the intrigues of the Forbidden City and a novel take on the much reviled last empress. But now that we have both the knives-out and revisionist versions of Cixi's life, maybe non-academic English-speaking authors could find someone else from the Chinese past to write about. From the bestselling author of Red Azalea and Empress Orchid comes the powerful story of the friendship of a. .In this ambitious new novel, Anchee Min brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who is now hailed in China as a modern heroine

Anchee Min. From the bestselling author of Red Azalea and Empress Orchid comes the powerful story of the friendship of a lifetime, based on the life of Pearl S. Buck. In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, two young girls bump heads and become thick as thieves. In this ambitious new novel, Anchee Min brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who is now hailed in China as a modern heroine. Like nothing before it, Pearl of China tells the story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers, from the perspective of the people she loved and of the land she called home.

The first book in the Empress Orchid series, 2004. For my daughter, Lauryann, and all the adopted daughters from China. My intercourse with Tzu Hsi started in 1902 and continued until her death. sir edmund backhouse, coauthor of China Under the Empress. Dowager (1910) and Annals and Memoirs. of the Court of Peking (1914).

The setting is China's Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory, a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking. In this highly ordered place -- tradition-bound, ruled by strict etiquette, rife with political and erotic tension -- the Emperor, "the Son of Heaven," performs two duties: he must rule the court and conceive an heir. To achieve the latter, tradition provides a stupendous hierarchy of hundreds of wives and concubines. It is as a minor concubine that the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid as a girl, enters the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen.It is not a good time to enter the city. The Ch'ing Dynasty in 1852 has lost its vitality, and the court has become an insular, xenophobic place. A few short decades earlier, China lost the Opium Wars, and it has done little since to strengthen its defenses or improve diplomatic ties. Instead, the inner circle has turned further inward, naively confident that its troubles are past and the glory of China will keep the "barbarians" -- the outsiders -- at bay.Within the walls of the Forbidden City the consequences of a misstep are deadly. As one of hundreds of women vying for the attention of the Emperor, Orchid soon discovers that she must take matters into her own hands. After training herself in the art of pleasing a man, she bribes her way into the royal bedchamber and seduces the monarch. A grand love affair ensues; the Emperor is a troubled man, but their love is passionate and genuine. Orchid has the great good fortune to bear him a son. Elevated to the rank of Empress, she still must struggle to maintain her position and the right to raise her own child. With the death of the Emperor comes a palace coup that ultimately thrusts Orchid into power, although only as regent until her son's maturity. Now she must rule China as its walls tumble around her, and she alone seems capable of holding the country together.This is an epic story firmly in the mold of Anchee Min’s Becoming Madame Mao. Like that best-selling historical novel, the heroine of Empress Orchid comes down to us with a diabolical reputation -- a woman who seized power through sexual seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. But reality tells a different story. Based on copious research, this is a vivid portrait of a flawed yet utterly compelling woman who survived in a male world, a woman whose main struggle was not to hold on to power but to her own humanity. Richly detailed and completely gripping, Empress Orchid is a novel of high drama and lyricism and the first volume of a trilogy about the life of one of the most important women in history.
Gelgen
Our book club read this as our 54th selection. The hostess has a background in Chinese history and wanted to share her passion with the book club group. There were six women in attendance, ages 31 to 40, all with varying backgrounds and education. This review is solely remarking on this book as a book club selection, and so I will limit the story rehash as many other reviews capture the essence of this novel.

In a nutshell, 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 (based on the real-life Empress Dowager Cixi), and "weaves an epic of a 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."

The themes in the book itself inspired a wonderful examination of China itself, through a delightful potluck, fun games and prizes, as well opportunities for beautiful decor. The book itself is reader friendly, though at first glance it appears dense. As you begin to read the novel, it's as readable as your average best seller. In fact, it reads like typical women's literature, with a female heroine at the center who you want to root for. The sweeping descriptions of the Forbidden City were, agreed across the board, one of the most winning aspects of this novel. Every book club member was memorized by the vista, the palaces, and the minute discussions of tedious and centuries-old traditions.

A large complaint of the novel was that the author seemed to lose track of characters (namely the Empress Dowager, Orchid's mother-in-law, or her sister, as examples). It was frustrating to get snippets of long-forgotten characters, or to have the suggestion of a role that is never played out. A similar complaint was the same issue but with plot points. There are major issues introduced early on (such as supposedly scheming eunuchs, the threat of jealousy from other concubines, or even the risk of being the "favorite" which apparently won one prior concubine a limbless life in a jar, that are just never examined or become a big part of the story... and recognition that they did NOT occur in spades never happens). And last, a minor issue was the description of this novel not holding weight with the contents of the actual material. There was no "seduction" or "erotic examination" to speak of as an example, despite the blurbs and quotes on the cover lending this as a major concept of the book itself. Orchid is presented as a lustful lady, indeed, but more neglected in this way than exploited. She wins the emperor with her wit, not her wiles, but I digress.

All that being said, this book was voted as a seven out of ten by all present members, which puts it into our top 20% of books read out of 54. Most of the complaints of the novel examined above are relative and subjective, and the novel itself is still a striking and complex journey to enjoy. Pretty much everyone enjoyed the vivid descriptions so much that the flaws in the read were largely overlooked. In fact, no one was disappointed that the book wasn't more erotic, for example, because everyone enjoyed the wit presented much more (after all, isn't it far more impressive that Orchid won her position with her brain rather than her body?). And there is plenty of intrigue and politics, which we all enjoyed. Invariably, all questions and discussions derived from the material were astute, interesting, and exciting.

This book is recommended for a book club because of its readability, strong heroine, interesting discussion, and educational benefits. There are probably similar or even better reads on the subject available, but this one is a strong contender because of its readability and easy-to-understand word choice.
Drelalen
The history of China in this book was fascinating. The Empress was a real person; however, what happened during these times of her life may or may not have happened. Regardless of the heavy descriptive language that explains China's customs, history at the time, morals and principles one can learn a lot reading this book. Being a lover of history, there was a lot about China I didn't know---now I do. I saw the historical movie, "55 days at Peking" and that movie was also about this Empress and the Boxer rebellion. I enjoyed the authors wording of the environment that the Empress lived in. I will buy and read "The Last Empress" next that continues this story.
Kanal
I am not a history novel read but when I entered a book club that suggested reading this one I chose to give it a try.

I really liked how it kept me going even when some chapters were long and slow.

----

When you see yourself between marrying your cousin and serving your Emperor, you obviously just run away when you're only a teen.

Orchid did not. She refused to let her family drown in sorrow and poverty so she chose to pursuit the imperial life. What she didn't know was that somehow she would become the one person to bring back China and keep it afloat.
Kakashkaliandiia
I just don't think this author did her research fully on this novel, given what I already know about ancient China. It was a pleasant novel, and I would like to believe it, but a few incidents just stick in my craw, causing me to take the whole thing with a grain of salt. We are expected to believe that Orchid, after being chosen as concubine of the Emperor of China, is then sent home. Now I already know that the Chinese were fanatical about their women being virgin, and Min in fact describes the process where Orchid is examined for virginity. If Orchid is sent home, rather than being kept in the palace after being formally declared a virgin, she could lose that virginity and even conceive a child that was not the Emperor's. She describes how she bribed her way into the Emperor's bedchamber. She could do so, and pass off a child that was not the Emperor's. This is the ultimate nightmare of the Forbidden City. No, it would never happen this way, and I cannot believe Anchee Min proposes that it did.

Even more unbelievably, after an incident where Orchid complains that she is so well attended that she cannot go to the bathroom in private, we are asked to believe that she successfully sneaked out of the palace, went home, and went to a whorehouse to learn the arts of pleasing a man for the Emperor. Rubbish! Read "Daughter of Heaven" by Nigel Cawthorne about the ancient Chinese Empress Wu Chao to read how thoroughly concubines were prepared for the Emperor, and he for them. They were given extensive illustrated books as well as stretching exercises to do, and lesbianism was rampant. They were not ignorant girls just turned loose, as Min portrays.

It was a pleasant novel, but I am going to read others about this Empress, since I just can't believe this one. A few incidents that are just outrageous make me doubt the entire sequence.
E-Books Related to Empress Orchid: A Novel: