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This title in other editions

Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World

by and

Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World Cover

ISBN13: 9780316735490
ISBN10: 0316735493
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This lyrical evocation of girlhood in a remote Himalayan village where women truly rule is now in paperback.

In the remote Himalayas, on the shores of Lake Lugu, there is a place the Chinese call "the Country of Daughters." This is the home of the Moso, a remarkable culture in which women govern all aspects of society. Daughters are prized above sons and both live their entire lives in the house where they were born. Leaving Mother Lake is the extraordinary story of Yang Erche Namu, where life among the Moso is revealed for the first time in fascinating, intimate detail.

From Namu we learn of a young girl's "skirt ceremony," of how courtship is conducted through dance and song, and of the private "flower chambers" where young women consort with their lovers. Despite the freedoms Namu enjoys, they aren't the freedoms she desires. Her impulsive, restless nature drives her to leave her mother's house, defying the tradition that holds Moso culture together. She learns she must venture out into the larger world to see better the one she leaves behind.

The world of the Moso and Namu's place in it makes for a story full of drama, strangeness, and beauty. Yet for all the exoticism, Leaving Mother Lake is a universal tale of mothers and daughters — the battles that drive them apart and the love that brings them back together.

Review:

"Beguiling....Namu describes a primitive and generous society that seems Utopian." Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today

Review:

"Most readers will find themselves rooting for Namu....While not a stylistic masterpiece, the book brims with vivid descriptions of a fascinating culture." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"A fascinating look at a unique culture and a determined, ambitious young woman. (Coauthor Mathieu's afterword provides more insight into Moso culture from an anthropological standpoint.)" Kristine Huntley, Booklist

Review:

"This memoir vividly conveys the bitter cold of mountain nights and strained relationships, along with the warmth of hearth, hospitality, and deep understanding. A fascinating glimpse at a unique culture and the melding of two worlds in a journey to adulthood." School Library Journal

Review:

"At last, a memoir that delivers a life worth remembering!...This book enchanted me — the tale and the telling." Lynn Freed, author of House of Women

Review:

"Haunting....[A] historical document of a unique time and place and the universal tale of a mother's fierce love and a daughter's attempt to straddle two worlds." Jill Wolfson, San Jose Mercury News

Review:

"An absolutely wonderful history of a woman and a place. I was stunned by the lineage of women described in this 'country of daughters' — by their complete control over the customs of love, family, and property. Somewhere between Kingston's Woman Warrior and Robert Graves's The White Goddess, this book creates a world of magic and ritual, song making and passion that has the powerful ring of truth." Victoria Cass, author of Dangerous Women: Warriors, Grannies and Geishas of the Ming

Review:

"Yang and Mathieu have written a fascinating portrait of a young girl who grows up in a matrilineal society in a remote region of China and becomes a star. Leaving Mother Lake will take readers on an incredible journey to a part of the world most of us never knew existed." May-lee Chai, author of The Girl From Purple Mountain and My Lucky Face

Synopsis:

This remarkable memoir transports us to the remote reaches of the Himalayas, to a place the Chinese call "the country of daughters," to the home of the Moso, a society in which women rule men. According to local tradition, marriage is considered a foreign practice; property is passed from mother to daughter; a matriarch oversees each family's customs, rituals, and economies. In this culture a young girl enjoys extraordinary freedoms — but the impulsive, restless Namu is driven to leave her mother's house, to venture out into the larger world, defying the tradition that holds Moso culture together. Leaving Mother Lake is a book filled with drama, strangeness, and beauty. Yet for all the exoticism, Namu's story is a universal tale of mothers and daughters — the battles that drive them apart and the love that brings them back together.

About the Author

Yang Erche Namu is a popular singer in China. She lives in Beijing, Geneva, and San Francisco.

Christine Mathieu, one of the first Westerners to be granted access to study the Moso, lives in San Francisco and is a professor of anthropology at St. Mary's College of California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

peanut130, April 14, 2009 (view all comments by peanut130)
Blink your eyes: a girlhood in a remote Moso society and young adulthood as China's Paris Hilton simply cannot be reconciled--but then, do they have to be? Try reading the endpapers by the co-author and anthropologist before reading the book. You may enjoy the story with more insight about the significance of Moso culture. Overall, Namu should stick with her roots; her storytelling is compelling, even rings of authenticity. Do we have to doubt its validity?
Hard to believe narcicissism is such a world wide phenomenon. Hard to believe we haven't heard more about the Moso.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Hatburt, March 8, 2007 (view all comments by Hatburt)
This book is amazing
its about a girl who lives in a culture that is way different then most people know about and she is an amazing girl throught the story
you should read this book
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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316735490
Author:
Yang Erche Namu and Christine Mathieu
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Author:
Namu, Yang Erche
Author:
Mathieu, Christine
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Women singers
Subject:
China
Subject:
Yang Erche Namu
Subject:
Women singers - China
Subject:
Biography-Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 10, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
294
Dimensions:
8.28x5.48x.86 in. .62 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» Biography » General
» Biography » Women
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» History and Social Science » Asia » China » Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
» History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
» History and Social Science » World History » China
» Religion » Eastern Religions » Chinese Religion and Literature

Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 294 pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316735490 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Beguiling....Namu describes a primitive and generous society that seems Utopian."
"Review" by , "Most readers will find themselves rooting for Namu....While not a stylistic masterpiece, the book brims with vivid descriptions of a fascinating culture."
"Review" by , "A fascinating look at a unique culture and a determined, ambitious young woman. (Coauthor Mathieu's afterword provides more insight into Moso culture from an anthropological standpoint.)"
"Review" by , "This memoir vividly conveys the bitter cold of mountain nights and strained relationships, along with the warmth of hearth, hospitality, and deep understanding. A fascinating glimpse at a unique culture and the melding of two worlds in a journey to adulthood."
"Review" by , "At last, a memoir that delivers a life worth remembering!...This book enchanted me — the tale and the telling."
"Review" by , "Haunting....[A] historical document of a unique time and place and the universal tale of a mother's fierce love and a daughter's attempt to straddle two worlds."
"Review" by , "An absolutely wonderful history of a woman and a place. I was stunned by the lineage of women described in this 'country of daughters' — by their complete control over the customs of love, family, and property. Somewhere between Kingston's Woman Warrior and Robert Graves's The White Goddess, this book creates a world of magic and ritual, song making and passion that has the powerful ring of truth."
"Review" by , "Yang and Mathieu have written a fascinating portrait of a young girl who grows up in a matrilineal society in a remote region of China and becomes a star. Leaving Mother Lake will take readers on an incredible journey to a part of the world most of us never knew existed."
"Synopsis" by , This remarkable memoir transports us to the remote reaches of the Himalayas, to a place the Chinese call "the country of daughters," to the home of the Moso, a society in which women rule men. According to local tradition, marriage is considered a foreign practice; property is passed from mother to daughter; a matriarch oversees each family's customs, rituals, and economies. In this culture a young girl enjoys extraordinary freedoms — but the impulsive, restless Namu is driven to leave her mother's house, to venture out into the larger world, defying the tradition that holds Moso culture together. Leaving Mother Lake is a book filled with drama, strangeness, and beauty. Yet for all the exoticism, Namu's story is a universal tale of mothers and daughters — the battles that drive them apart and the love that brings them back together.
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