Red Azalea by Anchee Min

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Red Azaleathis was mandatory read for my World Literature @ Rowan University. The reason why this book was a straight up five stars is because this was the book that opened up my mind to Communist China at the time that Moa ruled it. It fascinated me beyond my understanding, not that I turned communist…hahah…but because i started saturating myself with the history beginning from precommunism to the death of Mao. I memorized dates, timelines, political strategies, historical places, conflicts, and the country’s changing sentiment. This book began the next string of books that i read for leisure concerning Communist China, and even preCommunist china. It also opened my semi-dormant interest in movies that dealt with the same history.

It was a great opening book to how women strived in China at that time as well. The book is told by a first person narrative. It serves as an autobiographical novel of Anchee Min’s experiences from when she was a teenager, under a societal false consciousness during the cultural revolution headed by Mao’s mistress. It was a deep disturbing book…but really awakened a great interest in me…so much so that i still get stopped at B&N when i see a book relating to a similar topic.

this is one of two books that she’s written and i’ve read. i recommend the other one as well, about Mme. Mao.

5.0 stars

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