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Cloud Mountain Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446674346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446674348
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Warner Books, which has been highly successful with such bittersweet romances as Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County and Nicholas Sparks's The Notebook, offers another winner in the category. Like Sparks, Liu (Faces, LJ 8/94) based her novel on the lives of her grandparents. The book has epic ambitions, capturing the sweep of the historical era between 1900 and 1941 by using descriptive detail and incident quite effectively. Hope Newfield, the central character, is a California teacher tutoring Asian students in English. One of her students is Liang Po-yu, a scholar-revolutionary and friend of Sun Yat-sen, who wants to bring democracy to China. The novel is the history of their marriage, conceived in love but torn by bigotry and racism on the part of both Oriental and Occidental. The prose has a haunting, lyrical quality and an aura of authenticity. Recommended for all popular fiction collections.
-?Jacqueline Seewald, Red Bank Regional H.S., Little Silver, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Liu writes an epic fictional tale based on the true experiences of her grandparents, a white American woman and a Chinese revolutionary, set at the turn of the century, a time in U.S. history when it was illegal (in most states) for a white woman to marry a Chinese man. The story starts out in Berkeley, California, where Hope, an English tutor, makes the acquaintance of Liang Po-yu, a Chinese student. Although she is engaged at the time to an American professor, Hope and Paul (his American name) fall in love and marry, despite the difficulties and blatant racism they know they will face in America and China. After struggling for a time in Berkeley, they eventually relocate to China, where Paul works feverishly on his dangerous mission to bring democracy to China, often risking his life and endangering Hope and their children. The story of their strong love for each other, set against a backdrop of revolution and mayhem, two world wars, bigotry, and personal tragedy, is exciting and beautifully written. Kathleen Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Although I was born in Connecticut, my earliest memories are of India - the crisp feel of baked grass during the heat of summer, the primary colors of the tents that formed the classrooms of my nursery school, the taste of candied fennel seeds, and the faces of children peering, crying, playing, and begging from the fusty arcades of Connaught Circus to the alleys of Chandni Chowk. My father was born in Shanghai and my mother in Milwaukee, but India was the first home of my heart.

During my family's two years in New Delhi, my father traveled throughout Asia on business for the United Nations. My mother worked with the Indian Government, developing cottage industries, and adored South Asia. Expatriate life was full of everyday surprises, cultural challenges, and many Indian friends. My father, however, preferred China - at least until the Communist takeover in 1949.

Growing up with this quiet divide, I gave it little thought until, as an adult, I realized that it had contributed to my own overlapping loyalties. Though one quarter Chinese, I owed an allegiance to India, and although I was born and mostly raised in the U.S., my father's career with the United Nations gave mw a stamp of internationality that made me more inclusive than exclusive about my cultural identity. As a result, I have always been partial to stories and images of people with mixed heritage.
When I began to write fiction, these same stories and images informed my novels, from FACE, about a young quarter-Chinese photographer coming to terms with her childhood in New York's Chinatown, to CLOUD MOUNTAIN, based on the marriage of my white American grandmother and Chinese revolutionary grandfather. My third novel, FLASH HOUSE, centers on an American social worker whose quest to rescue her missing husband produces an unlikely bond with a native child of mysterious origins in India and western China in 1949. These novels have been published in more than a dozen languages.

Between India and fiction, of course, I did strike off in a few other directions. I spent my later childhood in suburban Connecticut, worked as a fashion model in New York, and graduated as a painting major from Yale University. My first book, SOLITAIRE, chronicled my passage through anorexia nervosa as a teenager. Released when I was just twenty-five, it was America's first anorexia memoir. Recently, I have returned to the subject of eating disorders in my forthcoming book GAINING: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIFE AFTER EATING DISORDERS, which explores the many ways that eating disorders are NOT about eating and do not end with recovery of a healthy weight.

I have also co-authored seven books on psychology and medical topics, edited business and trade publications, and worked as a flight attendant and as associate producer for NBC's TODAY show.

In 2002 I served as president of PEN USA, a national organization of professional writers defending free expression. In 2004 I returned to school (age 50!) to earn an MFA at Bennington College. After graduation in 2006, I hope to teach in an MFA program myself.

Today I live in Los Angeles with my husband. I have two grown sons.

Customer Reviews

I must now seek out other books by this author.
D. Heater
I will just say thatthis book leaves a lasting impression that makes you feel as if you really KNOW the characters.
Kindle Customer
The writing pulls you into the story and what a story!
reinertm@ext.missouri.edu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Cloud Mountain by Aimee E. Liu is a wonderful book. Inspired by her own Grandparents story, this book is impossible to put down. It is romance of the first order, as well as vivid history, both Chinese and American during the turbulent times from the San Francisco earthquake to the Chinese Revolution. Miss Liu brings these times to life in ways that I have never read before. This book explores the relationship between an American woman (who, being part Native American is considered mongrel in her own country) and an upperclass Chinese scholar and revolutionist. Cloud Mountain is moving, well researched, and never dry. I couldn't put it down. Any Amy Tan and Memoir of a Geisha fans out there should run for this book. A truly sweeping, beautifully written novel.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Notestine on January 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Aimme E. Liu has written a wonderful fictional accounting of a true story. I have been a friend of the Luis family for over forty five years. Aimee's cousin John was my boyhood friend. And we still keep up. The family story has always fasinaated me. (John is Herb Luis' son, Teddy in the book.)Although Aimee says it is about 70% true, I know through conversations with John's mother that basically ALL of the major persons, dates, places, and events are true. The 30% is mostly side sories and details for dramatic effect.
I also want to point out that in a prior review of "Cloud Mountain" by "Elizabeth" she states that the only place in 1908 where the name Jennifer existed was Cornwall. Well, the fact is Hope's real name WAS Jenny Trescott. In fact, I found that Aimee used family names for fictional charactors in several instances. But never the real name for the real person.
Although I have to say that I read this book because I had already heard the story and had a personal interest in it. But even if I hadn't I still would not have been able to put it down. Aimee Liu's use of words to describe are incredibly original (I don't know how she came up with some of them) and they really do "paint" a picture in your mind as you read.
She is a real literary artist.
This is not only a love story. In fact, I would just as much descibe it as a story of courage, of two people who dared to cross the bariers that a bigoted society had placed between them. It is also the story of a man committed to saving his counrty by bringing it democracy even if it could have cost him his life. It is a story of a woman who stood by him, travelled halfway around the world to an unstable society trying to grow up into democracy, but turned out to be a house of cards.
Read this book and take a trip back to a past and place few Americans are aware of. Enjoy the exciting people and places, but also learn a history of a different place, time, and people.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the last few years I have read many books that deal with China's history and this book was by far one of my favorites. It is a beautiful book that I felt compelled to share with others and purchased more than one copy so I could lend it out and make sure to have a copy for my collection. This book will not dissapoint, especially if you are as intrigued with China and it's history as I am! When I got to the last 20 pages or so I turned them very slowly in hopes of making it last longer! :) I urge you to buy this book and one for your friends! It is a very moving picture of what a person can live through and still see the beauty in life around them!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By H. Lyons on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I received this book I was really eager to read it. The whole storyline appealed to me and I was convinced, based on the first few chapters, that I would enjoy it. I'm not sure when I changed my mind. Maybe it was after reading countless details about historical and political China when I just wanted to know more about the main characters. Sometimes I felt as if the author couldn't decide if she wanted to write a history book or a love story. While her descriptions of the surrounding enviroments within the book were very colorful and evocative, the presentation of historical events taking place was a bit on the boring side. I found myself fighting the urge to just skip over those parts. Also, the ending (which I won't give away) sort of left me feeling cheated. I suppose I could've overlooked all of those things except for one thing. The fact is, the main character just isn't very interesting or likeable. To me, that's a deal-breaker.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Waynette Sorrells on November 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Using stories told by her Grandfather, Aimee Liu provides an insiders tale to a time of turmoil in China. The story starts in San Francisco at the time of the big quake. It is a love story of an American girl and a very educated Chinese boy at a time when women hardly spoke to a Chinese person, much less married one. Her husband is a part of Sun Yet-sen's battle to topple the Manchu Dynasty. Within the novel is the history of China from the Opium War in 1840 to the Communist's War of Liberation in 1949. Good insight into the people of China and their relationship with the Western Powers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Heater on September 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had to write a few words. Every now and then I hit upon an author that pulls and pushes at your heart. I listen to dozens of audio books every month driving to and from work. This story was so very well written. It has real life in it. It has passion, love, danger, devotion, understanding, pain - it has it all. It is a must read/listen for historical and just plain enjoyment reasons. (The plot is in the description.) I must now seek out other books by this author. If you want to fill moments of your life with a treasure include this story. dorothy
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