Thursday, May 22, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This novel about a certain area of 19th century China is fascinating. For one thing, I learned about the secret women's writing called nu shu that has been passed down from mother to daughter in one rural Hunan province for about a thousand years. Also, the book has a vivid but fairly unemotional description of foot binding that made me feel physically ill. That's just evidence of my ignorance rather than a recommendation not to read the book. I knew about foot binding before, but only in the vaguest way. Then there's the heavy stuff about the friendship between the main character and her "old same," a friend bound to her by contract when they were young. Anyway, it wasn't a light read, but it was fascinating and important.

3 comments:

  1. My book-loving aunt loved this book and has been pressuring me to read it, and now that I have two recommendations I think I will. I was never very interested in Chinese culture until I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and I was fascinated, too.

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  2. i read this book a while ago and really loved it. i didn't know the details involved with footbinding either... this book made me research it a little more on the internet and i found many personal stories and pictures... also got me to read memoirs of a geisha.... which is an excellent book... not a light read either.

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  3. Lisa See....? Any relation to Eunice See who fired Dad from NCR?

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