It is the final days of the Chinese Empire. Trade in opium with Europe is slowly corroding the power of the Ch'ing Dynasty. Orchid, a beautiful seventeen-year-old from an aristocratic but impoverished family, is pushed into the maelstrom when she finds herself unexpectedly chosen to become a lower-ranking concubine of the Emperor. The world inside the Forbidden City is erotically charged and highly ritualised, but beneath its immaculate face lie whispers of murders and ghosts. The thousands of concubines will go to any lengths to bear the Emperor a son and become his Empress. Determined not to be a victim of the jealousies and foul play, Orchid trains herself in the art of pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed and seduces the monarch. Little does she know that China will collapse around her, and she will be its last Empress.
- Paperback | 384 pages
- 110 x 174 x 26mm | 222.26g
- 03 Jan 2005
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- London, United Kingdom
- Export and UK open market ed
'Empress Orchid is strong on both sexual chicanery and violent conspiracy ... a fascinating account' Guardian
'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
About Anchee Min
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.