A Thousand Pieces of Gold: Growing Up Through China's Proverbs

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9780060006396: A Thousand Pieces of Gold: Growing Up Through China's Proverbs

A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a cultural memoir as well as a personal account of China's past, illustrated by proverbs taken from a fascinating period of history when China was ruled by the First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259–210 B.C.E.), the sovereign who united China, built the Great Wall, and standardized the Chinese language.

New York Times bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah combines fascinating historical insights with personal stories from her own life to show the enduring relevance and influence of proverbs in Chinese life, even to the present day. Yen Mah recreates a lost world in which warlords, scholars, and courtiers plot and counter-plot to create some of the world's greatest dramas. Her unique perspective creates a window into the Chinese mind, enabling Western readers to better comprehend Chinese thought and culture, while being mesmerized by stories first told by the legendary historian Sima Qian, China's Herodotus. Combining probing historical analysis with stories of tremendous personal insight, A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a singularly authentic portrait of Chinese culture.

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About the Author:

Adeline Yen Mah is a physician and the author of Watching the Tree, Chinese Cinderella, and the international bestseller Falling Leaves. Dr. Mah is married and has two children. She divides her time between Huntington Beach, California and London, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

As she related in her memoir, Falling Leaves, Chinese-born writer Yen Mah has earned her sense of victimhood. She was resented and punished by her family for the death of her mother during childbirth. With the deaths of her brutal father and stepmother, Yen Mah ended her quest for filial love. Though this new work discusses events and themes similar to those of Falling Leaves, it is largely free of the mawkish notions of what family life should be like that burdened that work. This leaves the current book with more room for what many readers will find more enlightening: the history and use of Chinese proverbs, which she traces to their origin in the ancient writings of Sima Qian, China's venerable historian and chronicler of the great power struggles that crippled the Middle Kingdom's first dynasty 2,200 years ago. Yen Mah recalls points in her life where Sima's poignant proverbs resonate. Descriptions of the early emperors' extravagance and sadism are both repulsive and captivating, and make for sometimes interesting comparisons with the battles fought by Yen Mah in her privileged but cruel home. More often, though, the disparity between the tyranny imposed upon the Chinese peasantry and the disloyalty and neglect endured by the author tends toward self-pity. Many of the digressions into Yen Mah's personal history relate her childhood relationship with her estranged elder brother, who has not spoken to her since her first memoir was published. These passages make the book read at times like a desperate letter the author should have written to him.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HarperOne, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a cultural memoir as well as a personal account of China's past, illustrated by proverbs taken from a fascinating period of history when China was ruled by the First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259%u2013210 B.C.E.), the sovereign who united China, built the Great Wall, and standardized the Chinese language. New York Times bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah combines fascinating historical insights with personal stories from her own life to show the enduring relevance and influence of proverbs in Chinese life, even to the present day. Yen Mah recreates a lost world in which warlords, scholars, and courtiers plot and counter-plot to create some of the world's greatest dramas. Her unique perspective creates a window into the Chinese mind, enabling Western readers to better comprehend Chinese thought and culture, while being mesmerized by stories first told by the legendary historian Sima Qian, China's Herodotus. Combining probing historical analysis with stories of tremendous personal insight, A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a singularly authentic portrait of Chinese culture. Minimal shelfwear. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 123476348

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