by Anchee Min
Category: Romance, Sagas & Historical / General
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 3 January 2005
Number of pages: 352
Prizes: Shortlisted for British Book Awards: Best Read of the Year 2006.
To rescue her family from poverty and avoid marrying her slope-shouldered cousin, seventeen-year-old Orchid competes to be one of the Emperor's wives. When she is chosen as a lower-ranking concubine she enters the erotically charged and ritualised Forbidden City. But beneath its immaculate facade lie whispers of murders and ghosts, and the thousands of concubines will stoop to any lengths to bear the Emperor's son. Orchid trains herself in the art of pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed, and seduces the monarch, drawing the attention of dangerous foes. Little does she know that China will collapse around her, and that she will be its last Empress.
What the papers say:
'Empress Orchid is strong on both sexual chicanery and violent conspiracy ... a fascinating account' Guardian 'A wild, passionate, fearless American writer' New York Times 'An engrossing story ... enhanced by Min's imaginative power ... Like all good novelists, she implies as much as she says, and her characterisation is subtle and worldly-wise' Glasgow Herald 'Rich in detail and historical background, the novel drenches readers in the colours, textures and affluence of the Forbidden City ... a stirring, exotic novel that is a treat for the senses and the intellect alike' Los Angeles Times
Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labour 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 memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels, Becoming Madame Mao, Katherine and Wild Ginger were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales.
In Stock: 31 copies