Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Thousand Pieces of Gold..

Copyright: 2002
Pages : 300 over.

A Memoir of China's past through it's Proverbs.

This book was written by Adeline Yen Mah. I have written a review on her first book Falling Leave.

When she was young, her Ye Ye (grand father) taught her and told her stories of China's history through proverbs. This book i think is her dedication to her Ye Ye.

With each proverb (for each chapter), tells us the stories of the rise of First Emperor (Qin) of China till the fall of his empire, in between she also wrote about her life and China during Chairman Mao's reign.

I have heard of the cultural revolution but did not truly understood it until i read this book.

She compared chairman Mao's rule with the rule of China's first Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi (Qin dynasty). Towards the middle part of his rule, he had books, history of China destroyed, about 400 over scholars was killed during his purged. Chairman Mao did the same thing during the 1960's revolution. He had his political 'ememies' destroyed...killed 40,000 over scholars, books destroyed..he wanted to be better than the first Emperor.

The book also covered the rise of the Han dynasty, which lasted for about 400 years because the rulers were more just then the previous one.

The stories of her life was covered in Falling Leaves, in this book, sort of continuation... Such as how they reacted when she wrote her book...she was disowned by her relatives because of 'face' issue. One of her brother even mocked her...'no one will publish your book, no one will read your book, why give up being a doctor....and if you did write, i will sue you'...

Lucky some lady had faith in her and willing to publish it provided she cut off one hundred thousand words (for her first book) and she also warned her that once it is published some family members may not like it. Adeline went for it and never look back.

She still missed her brother, the one she was closed too. She was sad that he was a pawn set up by her older sister and step mom.

Men/leaders = Lust, betrayer, greed, ego, hunger for power..all covered in this book, from ancient time till modern day. Somethings just never change.


Puteri said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I should finish reading that first book first, eh! :-)

Nightwing said...

Helo Puteri,

hehe...:) So far hows the reading?

Bento Pet said...

I read Falling leaves and I think Adeline Yen Mah really delivers her work very well.

It was a very realistic depiction of the atrocities and communist rule under Mao.

Very heart wrenching! Looks like I will have to buy "A Thousand Pieces of Gold" soon! Thanks for sharing the write up!

Nightwing said...

Helo Bento Pet,

If u like the Falling leaves, you will like this one too. Its China history (through proverbs) + her own life experience (sort of 'add on' from Falling leaves).

Her writing and description of events...really can take you back into time as if you were there..:)

U have a good weekend now. Cheers.