Pearl of China by Anchee Min
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 7 Critic Reviews



It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.
Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl's family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao's Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.
In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of Empress Orchid and Red Azalea, brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine.

About Anchee Min

See more books from this Author
Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao’s Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her first memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller, published in twenty-seven countries. She has since published six novels, including Empress Orchid, Becoming Madame Mao, and, most recently, Pearl of China.
Published April 9, 2010 by Bloomsbury USA. 289 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Pearl of China

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

As Pearl jokes, “My father is a nut and your father is a crook.” Soon Willow and Pearl become inseparable.

| Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The life of Pearl Buck, a missionary's daughter whose Chinese sagas made her a bestselling author and Nobel laureate, seems to beg for novelistic treatment.

Jul 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

Book Reporter

The titular Pearl is not a rare gem from the Ming Dynasty, but a jewel of brilliant luster imported to China from America: Pearl Sydenstricker, better known as Pearl S.

Jan 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

The Independent

China and America have long regarded each other warily across the Pacific, from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act designed to stem the flow of migrant workers to California, through the Boxer Rebellion against imperialists of 1900 to the Communist takeover and the Cold War.

May 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

Oregon Live

Among the Chinese voices denouncing Buck in 1971 was a teenage Anchee Min, who later immigrated to America and began writing books about her country's tumultuous history.

Apr 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

Asian Review of Books

... I hadn't heard much about the book or its author until a few years ago when the
American talk show host ... China Fast Forward: the Technologies, Green
Industries and Innovations Driving the Mainland's Future by Bill Dodson.

Apr 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

Live Journal

Because so much of the novel is based upon an actual historical figure and attempts to render this figure with much accuracy, Pearl of China is in some ways best understood as a fictionalized biography rather than a novel.

Aug 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Pearl of China: A Novel

Reader Rating for Pearl of China

An aggregated and normalized score based on 202 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review