The Flowers of War by Geling Yan
(Movie Tie-in Edition)

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It is December 1937 and the Japanese Imperial Army has just entered Nanking. Unable to reach the Safety Zone in Pokou, a group of schoolgirls are hiding out in the compound of the St. Mary Magdalene mission. They are looked after by Father Engelmann, an American priest who has made China his home for many years. The church is supposed to be neutral ground in the war between China and Japan, but eyewitness reports from the outside make it clear the Japanese are not obeying the international rules of engagement. As the soldiers pour through the streets of Nanking, committing unspeakable atrocities on civilians, thirteen Chinese courtesans from a nearby brothel climb over the church compound's walls seeking refuge. Their presence further jeopardizes the children's safety and what happens next will change all of their lives.
A haunting, passionate story inspired by true life events during the Nanking Massacre, this novel shows how war challenges our prejudices and that love can flourish amidst death and destruction. The Flowers of War is an unforgettable journey through the depths of the human heart.

About Geling Yan

See more books from this Author
Geling Yan is an award-winning Chinese novelist and screenwriter. Born in Shanghai, she published her first novel in 1985. Since then she has written numerous short stories, essays, scripts, and novels including, in English, The Banquet Bug and The Lost Daughter of Happiness. Several of Geling Yan’s works have been adapted for the screen, the latest being The Flowers of War which has been filmed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou and stars Christian Bale. Geling Yan divides her time between Berlin and China.

Author Hometown: China
Published February 7, 2012 by Other Press. 257 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Flowers of War


War is never easy.

Jan 31 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

The Bookbag

Nicky Harman’s translation from the original Mandarin is good, the words themselves elegantly rendered, but all the same there’s something at the heart of The Flowers of War that’s almost untranslatable, and that’s the emotional impact of the story itself.

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

Story Circle Book Reviews

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Mar 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

Lancashire Evening Post

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Feb 20 2013 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

Arts Fuse

A strange mix of characters who all have complicated pasts gives rise to a novel that blossoms—exactly as a flower does—into a complex drama that includes several points of view and a wide range of emotions.

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

A group of courtesans seek shelter in a mission that

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The Flowers of War (Movie Tie...

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