The Binding Chair: Or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society

The Binding Chair: Or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society

by Kathryn Harrison
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Hardcover(Large Print)

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The Binding Chair: Or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society by Kathryn Harrison

In poised and elegant prose, Kathryn Harrison weaves in The Binding Chair; or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society a stunning story of women, travel, and flight; of love, revenge, and fear; of the search for home and the need to escape it. Set in alluring Shanghai at the turn of the century, The Binding Chair intertwines the destinies of a Chinese woman determined to forget her past and a Western girl focused on the promises of the future.

Beautiful, charismatic, destructive, May escapes an ar-ranged marriage in rural nineteenth-century China for life in a Shanghai brothel, where she meets Arthur, an Australian whose philanthropic pursuits lead him into one scrape after another. As a member of the Foot Emancipation Society, Arthur calls on May not for his pleasure but for her rehabilitation, only to find himself immediately and helplessly seduced by the sight of her bound feet. Reforming May is out of the question, so love-struck Arthur marries her instead and brings her home to live with him, his sister and brother-in-law, and their two girls, Alice and Cecily. In Alice, May sees the possibility of redemption: a surrogate for a child she has lost. And it is to May that Alice turns for the love her own mother withholds. But when the twelve-year-old is caught preparing her aunt's opium pipe, she is shipped off to a London boarding school, far from the dangerous influence of the woman who will come to reclaim her and to control the whole family.

The Binding Chair unfolds among scenes of astonishing beauty and cruelty, in a lawless place where traditions and cultures clash, and where tragedy threatens a world built on the banks ofunsettled waters—from the bustling Whangpoo River to the lake of blood in the Chinese afterworld. By turns shocking, exquisite, and hilarious, The Binding Chair is another spellbinding literary triumph by the writer whose work Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times has called "powerful and hypnotic."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568951393
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 02/28/2001
Series: COMPASS Press Large Print Book Series
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 419
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kathryn Harrison is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Her first novel, Thicker Than Water, was a New York Times Notable Book of 1991. Her second novel, Exposure, was also a New York Times Notable Book, and a national bestseller. She lives in New York City with her husband, the writer Colin Harrison.

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Binding Chair or, a Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The language Ms. Harrison uses is rich. . . so rich in fact, that reading this book was like being there, watching the drama unfold. I recently went on vacation and read this book twice in a row because I was so upset when I finished it the first time. One really begins to understand May. This book has also made me thankful for things I didn't think of before- strong, healthy feet for one ;-) May's journey (as well as every other character in the novel), though completely different from my own, really touched me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enchanting novel with fascinating characters.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Harrison has once again produced a fine piece of work. This is a very heavy book that takes you into the mind of the protagonist, allowing one to experience empathy in the way that literature should. You really have to sit back and let the book come to you versus trying to extract from it. I read this book on the train, during my commute to and from work and often I found myself drawn into the story and in the places she describes, whether it was in Shanghai, the south of France, or on the train ride across Russia. Very introspective and nonapologetic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this novel/story may seem to have great suspense and throughly intriguing words, the plot is quite confusing to grasp onto since each chapter talks of different subjects and things. The meaning of the novel was horribly written, lame, and racist. I for one, would not recommand anyone to read this book.