martes, 9 de abril de 2013

PEARL OF CHINA - Anchee Min


PEARL OF CHINA

Anchee Min

                              Anchee Min was born January 14, 1957 in Shanghai. She is a writer, photographer, painter, and musician Chinese-American. She lived in China until 1984. Nowadays she lives in the United States and China. Min grew up with a strict Maoist formation, she was the leader of The Little Red Guardians and at the age of 17 she was sent to a collective farm of cotton as part of a program about “reeducation” where she was discovered by a talent scouts, and was selected to perform Madame Mao in a movie which couldn’t being filmed because it fell into disgrace. She worked as an employee for a movie studio. She arrives in the United States in 1984, thanks to the intervention of her mate and friend, the actress Joan Chen. In 1990 after learning English, she graduated in Fine Arts at the Arts Institute of Chicago. She has several publications in which it’s pointed out her memories “Red Azalea” (1994).
                     Her last creation is “Pearl of China” (2010) inspired in the life of the first northamerican woman who obtained the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938, Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker Buck, who was born June 26, 1892 in Hillsboro, Occidental Virginia, daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, she arrived to Chinkiang, China with just 3 months of born and she will spend 4o years in that country before going back to the United States, where she died in Danby, Vermont on March 6th, 1973. She also received the Pulitzer Prize for her book “The Good Earth” and the Howells Medal in 1935. She was activist for the civil and women’s rights. She founded the East and West Association in 1942, Welcome House in 1949 and the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in 1964, helping in that way to her beloved China. According to The Washington Post, Pearl S. Buck was “a woman who loved passionately her childhood country, China and who is considered there, as a modern heroin.”
                     Anchee Min, in a sort of compensation to Pearl S. Buck writes this novel, because when Min was 17 years-old she was part of a campaign organized by Madame Mao which was directed by Chiang Ching in order to report P. Buck as “an imperialist agent” in order to discredit her position so she wasn’t able to received the Visa for visiting China at the beginning of the 70s. Some years later Min read “The Good Earth” realizing about her mistake and that P. Buck treats the Chinese farmers with admiration, affection and humanity. In this way Min describes what would be the life of the writer during her 40 years in China and grasped to the idea of a fictitious character, created and based on the multiples P. Buck’s friends was born the little and loyal friend Sauce, only child of a family fallen into disgrace and poverty. In this way this novel is developed, at the end of the XX century, Min with a simple and natural language take us to the inner of P. Buck’s life with her missionaries parents, with her anxiety to be absolutely Chinese and not a blonde hair girl with occidental features, following her free spirit, intellectual and greedy to absorb everything related to China, its food, its philosophy, its culture and even its traditions. Always in two hemispheres, always in two countries and cultures, she was a divided soul that Min reflects successfully in her work. The story goes with the little Sauce and her point of view about the world, about her growth and gratitude to her friend Pearl, about her devotion and strength and her loyal friendship. Her fights and triumphs in a China that walks and will arrive to the fierce dictatorial communism of Mao, her fights to maintain her freedom of thought and follow her dreams in a country and an age in which women were not allow to participate in the intellectual life of China and where also the participation of free men in society will be alibi. In this novel and in her story Min tries to ennoble the loyal love of these friends who through the incidence of their lives; their childhood, their growth, their marriages, their loves, the exile, the jail and their last good bye, becoming in a real critics about the abuses of the cultural revolution in the China of Mao.
                    There are three quotes in this novel that can be distinguished as a reflect not only of its content but also about the spirit of Pearl Buck and Anchee Min and of course of the fictitious Sauce:


- “Our proud civilization and heresy are ridiculous when our language is not used to create communication and understanding. But distance and isolation”…


- “To write a novel is like follow and catch spirits – Pearl said about her writing process-. The novelist is invited to experiment with marvelous dreams. The one who is lucky gets to live them once; the other lucky ones live them over and over again”…


- “Her Chinese roots were not dead. China was the last thing she had on her mind, what she took with her to the eternity. For her it was impossible to forget her love for China, because, as she said – she had met the fullness of that love, the highest and deepest of all-“...


Jirad Saragg

Hunter's Books and Magic




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