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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

A Hundred Flowers

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A Hundred Flowers Cover

ISBN13: 9780312274818
ISBN10: 0312274815
Condition:
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
 
 
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Yings husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.”

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.
 
As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husbands absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

Review:

"Tsukiyama's new novel takes place in 1958 and its title comes from Chairman Mao's 1957 declaration of openness: 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.' What actually blooms is fear and confusion, when university professor and intellectual Sheng Ying is taken by the police to a re-education camp, leaving his wife, Kai Ying, son Tao, aunt Song, and father Wei, also a professor, to make sense of his fate. To protect Tao, his mother tells him that his father is away working, but when the boy is teased at school about it, he demands to know the truth, forcing Wei to admit his role in Sheng's arrest and creating a rift in the fragile family. Wracked with guilt, Wei goes in search of his son, hoping to put his family's life back together. Tsukiyama (Women of the Silk) adopts the contemporary template of multiple perspective narration to explore the relationships of a close family in a closed society. Though complex human beings fail to emerge from the facade of stock voices, the tenderness the author shows for her characters creates a sympathetic portrait of intellectuals trying to live honestly in the shadow of oppression. Agent: Linda Allen." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
 
 
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Yings husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.”

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.
 
As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husbands absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

About the Author

Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of six previous novels, including The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Women of the Silk and The Samurais Garden, as well as the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She lives in El Cerrito, California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Stephanie E, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Stephanie E)
Since reading Gail Tsukiyama the first time (The Samurai's Garden), I have been captivated by her ability to paint a picture of the lives of those she portrays in her novels. This book was no different. She describes a family where secrets affect a family and those closely connected with it. It shows the resiliency of people under the direst circumstances and the belief that life will get better. This particular story was set in China in the 1950s when the promise of a new government did not match up with the reality of life. Through the eyes of the characters in the story you get a sense of the challenges faced by progressive minded Chinese citizens and their hopes for change in their lifetime.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312274818
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Tsukiyama, Gail
Author:
Vance, Simon
Author:
Carr, Jane
Publisher:
Macmillan Audio
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120807
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 CDs, 7.5 hours
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Politics » General

A Hundred Flowers Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.98 In Stock
Product details 320 pages St. Martin's Press - English 9780312274818 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Tsukiyama's new novel takes place in 1958 and its title comes from Chairman Mao's 1957 declaration of openness: 'Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.' What actually blooms is fear and confusion, when university professor and intellectual Sheng Ying is taken by the police to a re-education camp, leaving his wife, Kai Ying, son Tao, aunt Song, and father Wei, also a professor, to make sense of his fate. To protect Tao, his mother tells him that his father is away working, but when the boy is teased at school about it, he demands to know the truth, forcing Wei to admit his role in Sheng's arrest and creating a rift in the fragile family. Wracked with guilt, Wei goes in search of his son, hoping to put his family's life back together. Tsukiyama (Women of the Silk) adopts the contemporary template of multiple perspective narration to explore the relationships of a close family in a closed society. Though complex human beings fail to emerge from the facade of stock voices, the tenderness the author shows for her characters creates a sympathetic portrait of intellectuals trying to live honestly in the shadow of oppression. Agent: Linda Allen." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution
 
 
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Yings husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.”

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.
 
As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husbands absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.
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