Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip

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In a sunny California apartment, a young woman and her fiancé arrive to record her great-grandmother's story. The story that unfolds of Precious Orchid's life in China, where she rises from a childhood of shame to become one of the most successful courtesans in the land, is unlike any they've heard before. . .

When Precious Orchid's father is falsely accused of a crime and found guilty, he is executed, leaving his family a legacy of dishonor. Her mother's only option is to enter a Buddhist nunnery, so she gives her daughter over to the care of her sister in Shanghai.

At first, life at Peach Blossom Pavilion feels like a dream. Surrounded by exotic flowers, murmuring fountains, colorful fishponds, and bamboo groves, Precious Orchid sees herself thriving. She is schooled in music, literature, painting, calligraphy, and to her innocent surprise, the art of pleasuring men. For the beautiful Pavilion hides its darker purpose as an elite house of prostitution. And even as she commands the devotion of China's most powerful men, Precious Orchid never gives up on her dream to escape the Pavilion, be reunited with her mother, avenge her father's death, and find true love. And as the richest, most celebrated Ming Ji or "prestigious courtesan" in all of China, she just might have her way even if it comes with a devastating price. . .

Sweeping in scope and stunning in its evocation of China, Peach Blossom Pavilion is a remarkable novel with an unforgettable heroine at the heart of its powerful story. . .

[Special Readers Guide Inside]

"Riveting. . .a rare peek into an exotic culture that is thrilling, captivating, and moving." --Shobhan Bantwal, author of The Dowry Bride

"In the sure voice of Precious Orchid, Mingmei Yip recounts thirteen tumultuous years of Chinese history: vicious politics, pristine piety and heartrending scandal, framed in the classical arts. She writes with a painter's fastidious eye and the irresistible energy of grand storytelling. The pages just turn themselves."
--Neal Chandler, Director, Creative Writing Program of Cleveland State University.

"Peach Blossom Pavilion, story of the last geisha in China, is told with amazing insight as if the author had lived in the tumultuous China of a century ago. Through her beautiful, lucid prose, Mingmei brings modern Western readers into the mysterious world of the cultivated courtesan."
--Hannelore Hahn, Founder and Executive Director, International Women's Writing Guild.

"Peach Blossom Pavilion is a vivid account of the forgotten past."
--Chun Yu, author of Little Green: Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural

About Mingmei Yip

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Mingmei Yip began writing and painting during her childhood in Hong Kong. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and has studied the traditional Chinese arts of Tai Chi, Qin music, Buddhist sacred chant and calligraphy. Mingmei has collaborated with Carnegie Hall and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is the author of four novels and of the popular "Chinese Children's Favorite Stories". She lives in New York City.
Published June 1, 2008 by Kensington. 421 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Peach Blossom Pavilion

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In this disappointing courtesan novel, a 98-year-old Chinese emigre woman in present-day San Francisco reviews her youth in early 20th-century China, where she was a ming ji, or prestigious prostitu

Jun 02 2008 | Read Full Review of Peach Blossom Pavilion


I had the pleasure of meeting Mingmei at the 2010 Romantic Times Convention held in Columbus, Ohio.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Peach Blossom Pavilion

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