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The Cooked Seed: A Memoir

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The Cooked Seed: A Memoir Cover

 

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Publisher Comments:

In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller, translated into twenty-three languages, and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed novelist. Twenty years later, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path.

Joan Chen, the not yet famous actress, played a critical role in helping her friend negotiate the immigration process and an application to the Art Institute of Chicago, but once in America, Anchee was on her own, forced to survive by her wits and indomitable spirit. She teaches herself English watching Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and is bemused by the unfamiliar riches of her new country: the food, warm showers, free toilet paper. She handles the head-spinning cultural dislocation at school — and later, her interactions with other groups of Americans — with her characteristic self-deprecating humor. But it is a hard road, too, as it is for all immigrants: Anchee works five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces. She also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who, more than anything, will save her and root her, finally, in America.

As a child, Anchee had always understood herself as a mere "bolt on the great machine that was Communism"; in America she is shocked to learn, as Mr. Rogers says in a phrase she memorizes early on, "the best gift you can offer is your honest self." Telling her story, Anchee is at her rawest, most intimate, vulnerable, and honest. Hers is the unforgettable journey of one woman moving between two radically different cultures: a homeland that left her brutalized, but which she will always love, and America, with its freedom and possibility — perhaps best appreciated by those who have struggled to attain it.

Synopsis:

From Anchee Min, the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Red Azalea -the eagerly awaited sequel, in which she comes to America to find her way, her voice, and her love.

Synopsis:

In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. Twenty years later, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path.

It is a hard and lonely road. She teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, keeps herself afloat working five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces. But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who will inspire her and finally root her in her new country. Min's eventual successes — her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves — are remarkable, but it is her struggle throughout toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.

About the Author

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her first memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller, published in twenty countries. She has since published six novels, most recently Pearl of China.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596916982
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Min, Anchee
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
Biography - General
Publication Date:
20130507
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in 1 lb

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The Cooked Seed: A Memoir Used Hardcover
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Product details 368 pages Bloomsbury USA - English 9781596916982 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From Anchee Min, the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Red Azalea -the eagerly awaited sequel, in which she comes to America to find her way, her voice, and her love.
"Synopsis" by , In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. Twenty years later, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path.

It is a hard and lonely road. She teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, keeps herself afloat working five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces. But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who will inspire her and finally root her in her new country. Min's eventual successes — her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves — are remarkable, but it is her struggle throughout toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.

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