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Red Azalea Paperback – April 11, 2006
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At the age of 17, Min was told that she needed to be a model to the graduates as a student leader. The ambitious I'll-go-where-Chairman-Mao's-finger-points attitude stirred Min's heart and made her eager to devote herself in hardship at the Red Fire Farm. Upon cancelling her residency in Shanghai, along with million other youths Min joined the Advanced 7th Company to plant rice in leech-filled water along the eastern coast. There Min finally caught up with the terror and hardship of Mao's ambitious revolution. She befriended with and eventually worshippped and fell in love with Party commander Yan. Here Min contrasted the dark horror of Communist China, the purges and the criticisms with her own desirous passion. She picked fight with the deputy commander Lu who diligently sought to catch Yan's mistakes.Read more ›
Red Azalea is her achingly beautiful memoir of the time, a story remarkable for its absence of anger or recrimination against the Communist Party and Chinese government. Told to serve the revolution as a peasant when she turned 17, Min left her family in Shanghai and joined the Advanced Seventh Company to plant rice near the East China Sea, toiling 16-hour days in muddy, leech- filled water. Two years later she returned to Shanghai to compete with three other women for the title role in Red Azalea, a film project based on the revolution, written by Mao's wife.
**Min contrasts the gray regimen of her society with her own passions, first for a female lover in the army and later for a mysterious man who supervises the production of Red Azalea. Each secret rendezvous and illicit tryst -- whether in a Shanghai bathhouse or a Buddhist temple brimming with scents of incense, jasmine and the crush of worshippers -- is all the more poignant in a country where personal desires are politically dangerous.
Min emigrated to America in 1984, but in Red Azalea she has created a powerful sense of life in China during that country's most heartbreaking time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting, but slow at times. Definitely learned a lot about Communist China.Published 29 days ago by Brynn Peterson
What a fantastic experience it was to read such a book. A private look into China during the sixties and early seventies which reveals a society more Orwellian than anyone could... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bezweifeln
"Red Azalea is a memoir of Chinese American writer Anchee Min (b. 1957). It was written during the first eight years she spent in the United States, from 1984 to 1992, and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Abby Owen
This was such a great book. The book was written vividly to he imagination and for the context.Published 3 months ago by Always Sunny in California
I read it and enjoy the story that I've felt compel to purchase another book by this author.Published 6 months ago by Annie
I had hoped this book would have included more historical
content instead of " Shades of Grey" Some of her descriptive
writing was excellent and other sections... Read more
I would recommend his book to any history lover as it brings to life a vivid picture of Communism and everything that is wrong with it.Published 8 months ago by Pucci mom