Becoming Madame Mao

Becoming Madame Mao

by Anchee Min
3.7 19

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Becoming Madame Mao 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honestly I expected a bit more. No doubt, history is history and you can't change that. But, while the story seems to flow very easily in the first part...towards the end (where one would expect more suspence and intensity) you get caught in an endless number of names (that you could never remember) and events that only bring total confusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is nothing more or less than one of the best bits of literature you will ever come across. This book tries to go beyond the image of "White-Boned Demon" to reveal the true nature of a woman who went on a journey to fill a need to be loved. But other people used her weakness and turned her into a puppet and built her up only to tear her down. The thing I find ironic is that her husband Mao is remembered as a God while she (Jiang Ching) is remembered as a demon. All in all a good read
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not only beautifully written but elegantly composed. The language and organization are enough, but the plot is also rivetting and traumatically honest. If you were to only read one book in your life, this should be the one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this book. Fact or fiction, Min accounts for M. Mao's life with empathy and compassion. Rather than the 'white boned demon' many Chinese view her as, Min shows that she was simply a lonely woman with a need to be recognized by the man she loved. Min also adeptly portrays the struggle that some feel between being a strong, independent woman and just wanting to be loved. Just as M. Mao used men to raise her status, this fiercely independent woman was used to inspire and control a nation.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The concubine does not even want a daughter, especially one who rejects tradition by refusing to bind her feet. So the teenage Yunhe eventually flees her oppressive family and what she believes is backwater customs to join an opera troupe. She quickly gained fame as a Shanghai actress named Lan Ping. Later she meets, falls in love with, and marries Mao Zedeng, who renames her Jiang Ching.

Madame Mao supports her spouse during the revolutionary period when they spend time in hiding in the mountains until the Japanese lose. She accompanies him when the Communists take control of China. Madame Mao is part of the inner circle of advisers to her spouse, but constantly falls in and out of favor. When Mao dies in 1976, she makes a play to replace him only to lose.

BECOMING MADAME MAO is deep, insightful historical fiction that looks inside the persona of Madame Mao while also providing external glimpses of how she saw the world, and how others saw her. The story line is loaded with different writing techniques that make this a unique and interesting tale. Madame Mao comes into full focus, as an intriguing twentieth century figure who deserves western attention in a novel that demonstrates Anchee Min is one of the sub-genre's top writers.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this if you like historical fiction tied with chinese culture. It was interesting to get another viewpoint on the cultural revolution. If you like Amy Tan novels, you will like Anchee Min. Her other books are good too.
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