doc º Red Azalea ☆

epub Red Azalea

doc º Red Azalea ☆ Ê Red Azalea is Anchee Min’s celebrated memoir of growing up in the last years of Mao’s China As a child she was asked to publicly humiliate a teacher; at seventeen she was sent to work at a labor collective Forbidden to speak dress read write or love as she pleased she found a lifeline in a secret love affair with another woRed Azalea is Anchee Min’s celebrated memoir of growing up in the last years of Mao’s China As a child she was asked to publicly humiliate a teacher; at seventeen she was sent to work at a labor collective Forbidde 455There are books that make me especially grateful that I don't write reviews for anyone but myself in that I am perfectly free to write what I want how I want with attention paid to what I thought and the terms of civil discourse than the 'proper' way of reviewing This is one of themWhat we have here is a memoir written by a woman who grew to adulthood on the tail end of Mao's reign the book itself ending a few pages after the death of the Chairman who spearheaded the Cultural Revolution Anchee a name that she translates as 'Jade of Peace' grew up in a family fully conformed to the ideals of the Communism Her youth is filled with absorbing the ideals of the Communist Party in forms both written and sung the texts of Chairman Mao and the operas of Madame Mao Comrade Jiang Ching The older she grows the conflicted she becomes about the life that has been planned for her a struggle that begins when she is made to denounce her beloved teacher as a 'capitalist spy' and continues with her burgeoning sexuality that favors women over men This is not a book that I feel comfortable delineating in the usual sense going through the construction of themes and commenting on what the author achieves with their writing For one this is a piece of Chinese literature that fully expresses its culture in every word of prose something that I have no real experience with Two this is a memoir that is much concerned with detailing the facts and feelings of a life than teasing out an overarching meaning to it all So I will discuss what struck me and stayed in my thoughts and leave it at thatCommunism is not nearly as dangerous a word in the US as it was than sixty years ago but it is still heavily contextualized in fearful and hateful terms The memoir fully demonstrates the negative aspects of living in a country that embraces Communistic ideologies and I won't argue that it wasn't a horribly oppressive time to be alive However if you asked me to differentiate between the palls of overwhelming fear of conspiracy and betrayal that existed in both the Cultural Revolution and the McCarthy era I would say that this was not a matter of Communism and Democracy These two periods of time in two separate countries were both concerned with a government fearing the spread of contrary ideologies in the masses and due to cultural differences took different measures to control what they thought was a problem One side believed that it was necessary to have people experience all classes of existence whether or not their skills were suited to other intellectual forms of labor The other didn't see the need for breaking down class barriers and instead focused heavily on the witch hunt aspect of rooting out 'spies' and 'infiltrations of the enemy' One side suffered greatly over their convictions in terms of starvation and constant leadership upheavals The other forgotEssentially if you asked me if this book made me think that Communism is evil I would say no it didn't If you think that I'm evil for saying that so be it My concerns lie outside the realm of political machinationsOne of these concerns is the plight of women the world over a theme that for all its cultural differences was strongly expressed in the later pages of this book The aforementioned Madame Mao was a powerful figure in the Cultural Revolution who helped keep a tight rein over the masses through the use of entertainment in the form of operas Despite her immense contributions to the Party using power given to her by Mao during his time of need the death of the Chairman led to her downfall; she was uickly swept away on the tide of country men calling her whore calling her bitch calling her a power hungry murdereressI knew Mao's name before this book I did not know Jiang Ching's not even as 'Madame Mao' This is not the first time that a woman in a position of predominantly masculine power whether political or militant has been swept under the rug of history in the midst of obfuscation and scoffs It will certainly not be the lastFinally I must give special mention to Min's prose short and sweetly staccato and ripe with metaphors that my mind subsumed as it is in European and American literature rarely encounters It especially shines while she is in the full throes of her sexuality the mindfulness of the nonconforming aspects of its passion drowned in the delight of its realization both during the beginning of one love The moment I touched her breasts I felt a sweet shock My heart beat disorderly A wild horse broke off its reins She whispered something I could not hear She was melting snow I did not know what role I was playing any her imagined man or myself I was drawn to her The horse kept running wild I went where the sun rose Her lips were the color of a tomato There was a gale mixed with thunder inside of me I was spellbound by desire I wanted to be touched Her hands skimmed my breasts My mind maddened My senses cheered frantically in a raging fire I begged her to hold me tight I heard a little voice rising in the back of my head demanding me to stop As I hesitated she caught my lips and kissed me fervently The little voice disappeared I lost myself in caresses And the end We did not want to realize that we had been holding on to something a dead past that could no longer prosper We were rice shoots that had been pulled out of the mud We lay roots exposed But we did not want to submit We would never submit We were heroines We just tried to bridge the gap We were trying our best The rice shoots were trying to grow without mud Trying to survive the impossible We had been resisting the brutality of the beating weather The hopelessness had sunk into the cores of our flesh I would not let her see me cry But she saw my tears in the kisses I read for many reasons mainly for self improvement but also for the desire to hear the words of someone a world away in a life that I will never experience to understand and relate to the innate humanity of those who by chance of birth differ from me in terms of race culture sexuality and a whole host of myriad aspects both physical and ideological This book achieved exactly that and I only wish that there were like it

Anchee Min î Red Azalea reader

N to speak dress read write or love as she pleased she found a lifeline in a secret love affair with another woman Miraculously selected for the film version of one of Madame Mao’s political operas Min’s life chang Red Azalea is supposed to be Anchee Min's memoir of her life in China The name is taken from a propaganda opera in which Min acted The book is divided into three sections which deals with different phases in the author's life The writing is stilted Reading short sentences for 300 pages was a chore The author also does not use uotations so the book is really hard to read There are hundreds of she said and I said scattered over every page and separated only by commas and sometimes not even that There are times when I could not make out who was speaking because of this style of writing In short very badly written She said she welcomed us to break out of the small world of our personal concerns to be part of an operation on such a grand scale She said that we had just made our first step of the Long March Suddenly raising her voice she said that she wanted to introduce herself She said My name is Yan Sheng Yan as in discipline; Sheng as in victory You can call me Yan She said she was the Party secretary and commander of this company A company that was making earth shaking changes in everythingThere were some really horrible metaphors which made me cringe Seriously who writes descriptions like this She said As always you know me better than the worms in my intestine She had a small thin mouth So small that it looked like the anus of my hen Big Beard The ears of grain were thin thinner than mice shit heaped around my feet heaped up burying meDisgustingThe first part of the memoir was about the author's childhood It was really interesting and absorbing There was this keen interest for the reader on what was going to come Some of the experiences suffered by the author and her family aroused my sympathy If I only had to rate the book on this section alone I would have rated it 3The second part deals with Min being sent to Red Fire Farm a slave labour camp to which every family needed to contribute a slave The beginning of this section was uite interesting with descriptions of farm life and how people dealt with the propaganda the cut throat business of survival and working from five in the morning to nine at night After this the author begins to talk about a lesbian affair she had and the story dramatically falls in uality and interest It takes on a romance porn uality from which it never recovers The fact that the bulk of the book is devoted to the romance does not help matters It is boring and I do not care The third section is about Min being selected to perform in an opera Pining for ex lesbian lover petty cat fights between the various opera girls and another boring romance with a man makes up the bulk of this section By the time we reach the end Mao is dead and the author chooses to cover this momentous event in just one page One page Out of than 300 pages just one is devoted to Mao's death while she went on and on and on about her boring affairs This is really bad story telling from any perspectiveThe author even fails to talk about her friends and family and how the Cultural Revolution affected them Beyond the really short first section her family just provide a background for her to pine for her lovers or to complain about her opera comrades All the momentous political events taking place around her are completely left out What happened to her parents her siblings are not detailed Nothing of interest is explored in the book Just pages and pages of her two romantic experiences In the end I ceased to care about the author or her experiences I might as well have read a Mills Boon insteadI do not recommend this book to anyone There are much better books on slave labour Cultural Revolution China and romance

epub ñ î Anchee Min

Red AzaleaEd overnight Then Chairman Mao suddenly died taking with him an entire world A revelatory and disturbing portrait of China Anchee Min’s memoir is exceptional for its candor its poignancy its courage and for its prose When I first started to read it I found that I had to put it down several times within the first couple chapters because the voice and imagery in the story resonated so clearly to me it was so heartbreaking violent confusing and upsetting despite my not being raised in China nor during the Cultural Revolution I think it resembled a similar cultural divide that I had experienced as a 1st Generation Chinese American growing up in New York and being raised by my grandparents Often what happened culturally inside our home and even in my head were far different from things that happened in public school or even in my neighbors' yards However as I kept on reading I found that I couldn't put the book down The events and emotions they way Anchee Min describes them are so vivid and accurate I really felt like I shared her pain joy lust disappointment and relief I also felt like I finally understood what it must have been like for my parents to grow up in that era in China and how that has affected them as adults Highly recommended read