Friday, May 30, 2008

Lover and a Fighter

www.leichic.comParents want the best for you, so they nag that your clothes should be respectable like so-and-so’s, your job secure like such-and-such’s, and your boyfriend, well…someone else.

Novelist Mingmei Yip rose to her parents’ challenges, graduating from the Sorbonne, studying Chinese arts and music, and becoming a writer – experiences channeled into her spectacular debut “Peach Blossom Pavilion.”

The novel brings to life the time of China ’s mingji – geisha predecessors. At age 13, Yip’s spirited protagonist sees her father executed, her mother escape to a nunnery, and is left with an aunt for a better life. But instead of working for a rich family, she’s sold to a prostitution house called Peach Blossom Pavilion.

At first Xiang Xiang happily studies poetry, music and other arts until realizing these activities are merely predecessors to her true fate. Soon this “pretty girl with two enchanting dimples” becomes Precious Orchid, a famous mingji, and eventually seizes the inherent power of her position to avenge her parents and lost childhood.

Precious Orchid’s tale is a truly fantastical escape, building on the era’s romance and the success of Memoirs of a Geisha, yet told through the voice of a cunning, empowered woman who fights to improve her fate.

She’s definitely not your mother’s role model.

Available online at, or at your favorite local bookseller.

Posted on Friday, May 30, 2008 in Permalink

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About Lei Chic

Lei Chic is a daily email and shopping blog that plugs you into Hawaii's newest and hottest boutiques, designers, trends, spas and salons, and more. You'll also discover all the cool events, dinners and sales happening around town in our Weekend Picks every Thursday. With Lei Chic, you'll get the inside scoop on what everyone will be talking about tomorrow – in your inbox today.

Lei Chic associate editor Natalie Schack has been a cultural anthropology student,museum worker bee and dabbler in graphic design. When she isn't scouting new fashion, compiling to-do lists or crafting puns, Natalie spends her free time dreaming up elaborate picnic ideas; "researching" via YouTube tutorials, blogs and Instagram; and dusting off her pith helmet for the next adventure life throws her way.

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