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The Valley of Amazement LPby Amy Tan
Synopses & Reviews
Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. When political upheaval separates Violet from her mother, she is forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese, half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West—until she merges her two identities to become a shrewd courtesan, though privately she still struggles to understand who she is. San Francisco, 1897. Violet's mother chooses a disastrous course as a sixteen-year-old, following a Chinese painter to Shanghai, where she finds herself shocked by her lover's adherence to Chinese traditions.
Fueled by betrayals, both women refuse to submit to fate, persisting in their quests to recover what was taken from them: respect; a secure future; and love, from their parents, husbands, and children. An evocative narrative of the connections between mothers and daughters, imbued with Tan's characteristic insight and humor, The Valley of Amazement conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and obstinacy of love.
Amy Tans The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two womens intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.
Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of Chinas last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.
A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tans The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.
About the Author
Amy Tan is the author of The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, Saving Fish from Drowning, and two children's books, The Moon Lady and The Chinese Siamese Cat, which was adapted into a PBS television series. Tan was also a coproducer and coscreenwriter of the film version of The Joy Luck Club. Her essays and stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, and her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.
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