Stephan Lee
May 14, 2013 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Cooked Seed

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Anchee Min
publisher
Bloomsbury
genre
Memoir

We gave it an A-

Min’s landmark 1994 memoir Red Azalea — about growing up during China’s Cultural Revolution — reads almost like a terrifying dystopian novel. The Cooked Seed, her first memoir since, picks up after she immigrates to Chicago, where the stakes are no lower as she fights for a visa, learns English from Mister Rogers, claws her way out of a bad marriage, and tries to raise her daughter with an American spirit and Chinese determination. It’s the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was trying to be. Min’s story serves as both a love letter to her adopted country and a poignant wake-up call to Americans who take our freedoms for granted. A-

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