Wild Ginger


As she did in her historical novel Becoming Madame Mao and memoir, Red Azalea, 45-year-old Anchee Min returns to her girlhood during the Cultural Revolution in Communist China—the source of her identity, her misery, her art. This time, the blooming and withering of a thousand flowers is conveyed in a novel about a tormented young woman whose desperate devotion to Chairman Mao overrides even the denunciation of her French father and the death of her grieving mother. Min’s language isn’t elegant, and her storytelling is often as plain and worn as the threadbare wardrobe of her youth. But the blunt intensity of the telling, and the way Min grimly returns to reexamine pain, communicates its own spare dignity. B

Wild Ginger
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