BN.com Gift Guide

Katherine

Overview

This novel, described by the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review as "nothing short of miraculous," is the story of Zebra Wong, a Chinese girl whose pragmatic mind conflicts with her passionate heart; Lion Head, her classmate, whose penchant for romantic intrigue belies his political ambitions, and Katherine, the seductive American with the red lipstick and the wild laugh who teaches them English and other foreign concepts: individualism, sensuality, the Beatles. In Katherine's classroom, repression and rebellion ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$14.59
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$17.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $1.99   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

This novel, described by the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review as "nothing short of miraculous," is the story of Zebra Wong, a Chinese girl whose pragmatic mind conflicts with her passionate heart; Lion Head, her classmate, whose penchant for romantic intrigue belies his political ambitions, and Katherine, the seductive American with the red lipstick and the wild laugh who teaches them English and other foreign concepts: individualism, sensuality, the Beatles. In Katherine's classroom, repression and rebellion meet head-on-and the consequences are both tragic and liberating.

In Anchee Min's first novel, a classroom of Chinese students have learned to keep their most private longings locked inside their hearts. Until the arrival of their strange new teacher--Katherine, the seductive American with the red lipstick and the wild laugh who teches them English and other foreign concepts--individualism, sensuality and the Beatles.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Min's first novel is less successful on a number of fronts than her outstanding memoir, Red Azalea. Narrated by a 29-year-old Chinese woman named Zebra whose family is poor and disgraced in the eyes of the Party, the story line traces the upheavals sparked by the appearance in the wake of the Cultural Revolution of a vibrant American teacher of English. When, in 1982, Katherine first arrives at the East Sea Foreign Language Institute in Shanghai, Zebra is a hardened veteran of the crushing Chinese system. Becoming Katherine's friend and prized pupil holds a dangerous allure for her: ``Katherine. We enjoyed saying it. We liked to think that her name smelled of hot blood. We liked to imagine everything that came with the name. A story of the western world.'' Katherine meets Zebra's expectations, teaching her not only English but also the finer points of the Beatles, makeup and illicit affairs. Zebra is not the only one who finds the American compelling, however. So does a fellow student, who has the unlikely name of Lion Head and who is mixed up in political games involving the head of the Institute. Despite Zebra's multiple warnings, Katherine blunders into an unseemly incident in which the demands of the state trample the desires of the individual. One of Red Azalea's most enjoyable attributes was the tension created by the presence of a charged sensuality amid the gray uniformity of Communist China. This novel also possesses sensuality, primarily through the freewheeling Katherine, but it seems forced. The characters lack the tight focus of those in Min's memoir, as well. Zebra, for instance, can be guarded and provincial in one paragraph and then reel off a philosophical jag about identity in the next. The writing, despite its lyrical moments, is also off key-particularly during the novel's rushed and unfortunate climax. Author tour. May
Library Journal
Min's first novel is set in China, but at its heart is a magnetic and willful young American woman named Katherine, with auburn hair, catlike eyes, and a gorgeous body-``a combination of beauty and cruelty.'' Katherine teaches English at the university in Shanghai, and among her students is Zebra, a ruined product of the Cultural Revolution. Zebra poignantly relates the devastating impact Katherine has on her students, who are enthralled by her air of freedom and her not-to-subtle sexuality. But as she goes about trying to do good, Katherine is also breathtakingly naive about the stumbling blocks her students face. As Zebra tartly tells her, ``You better sing our song since you are climbing our mountain.'' Min, the author of last year's Red Azalea LJ 12/93, an account of her rough upbringing in China, has written a little dewdrop of a work that is lyrical, to-the-point, and occasionally marred by writing that seems annoyingly childish but perhaps should be acknowledged as echoing the voice of a young woman painfully finding her way out of a terrible historical experiment. Recommended for most collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/95.]-Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425180235
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/2001
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 755,373
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Anchee Min

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen, she was sent to a labor collective, where talent scouts discovered her and recruited her to work as an actress. She came to the U.S. in 1984 with the help of the actress Joan Chen. A painter, photographer, and musician, she lives in Los Angeles and Shanghai with her husband and daughter.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)