The Cooked Seed by Anchee Min
A Memoir

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At the realization that there is finally an ending in The Cooked Seed that is not tragic, the reader’s relief is as palpable as the writer’s.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. Twenty years later, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path.

It is a hard and lonely road. She teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, keeps herself afloat working five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces.But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who will inspire her and finally root her in her new country. Min's eventual successes-her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves-are remarkable, but it is her struggle throughout toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.
 

About Anchee Min

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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 May 7, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA. 369 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Cooked Seed
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Donna Rifkind on Jun 28 2013

As it has with so many émigré artists, America gave Min the chance to transport the seeds of her extraordinary story across the oceans, and urged them into bloom.

Read Full Review of The Cooked Seed: A Memoir | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on May 09 2013

"The Cooked Seed's" richest addition to the ever-budding literature of the culturally transplanted are Min's excavations of her traumatic youth and fraught transition...

Read Full Review of The Cooked Seed: A Memoir | See more reviews from LA Times

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Petti Fong on Jul 12 2013

At the realization that there is finally an ending in The Cooked Seed that is not tragic, the reader’s relief is as palpable as the writer’s.

Read Full Review of The Cooked Seed: A Memoir | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Reader Rating for The Cooked Seed
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