Wild Ginger: A Novel
The beautiful, iron-willed Wild Ginger is only in elementary school when we first meet her, but already she has been singled out by the Red Guards for her "foreign-colored eyes." Her classmate Maple is also a target of persecution. It is through the quieter, more skeptical Maple, a less than ardent Maoist whose father is languishing in prison for a minor crime, that we see this story to its tragic end.
The Red Guards have branded Wild Ginger's deceased father a traitor and eventually drive her mother to a gruesome suicide, but she fervently embraces Maoism to save her spirit. She rises quickly through the ranks and is held up as a national model for Maoism. Wild Ginger now has everything, even a young man who vies for her heart. But Mao's prohibition on romantic love places her in an untenable position. Into this sexually charged situation steps Maple, creating an uneasy triangle that Min has portrayed with keen pychological insight and her characteristic gift for lyrical eroticism.
In Anchee Min's previous three books she returned again and again to the devastating experience of the Cultural Revolution, which defined her youth. Here, in this slim but powerful novel, she gives us a moving story that goes closer to the core of that experience than anything she has written before, and brilliantly delineates the pychological and sexual perversion of those times. Ultimately, WILD GINGER has the clean lines of a parable, the poignancy of a coming-of-age novel, the sexiness of a French blue movie, and the sadness of a truly tragic love story.
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Wild gingerUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
In lean, expressive prose, Min recounts the lives of several young people caught up in the Cultural Revolution, which swept China in the mid-Sixties near the end of Mao's reign. The author, who was ... Read full review
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abacus ANCHEE MIN anti-Maoist arms asked basket Becoming Madame Mao began big-character poster breath brother cents Chairman Mao teaches Cheng China Chinese closet comrade crowd Cultural Revolution dance door Evergreen eyes face father feel felt fish hair hands head Hot Pep Hot Pepper Hua Mulan knees knew learning live looked loudspeaker Madame Mao Manchu Mao book Mao jacket Mao quotations Mao study Mao's teaching Maoist Maple mind morning mother mouth moved neighborhood never night party secretary People's Square pulled pushed rally reactionary reciting Red Guards revolutionary sang Shanghai shouted sing smell smile snails songs sound squid stared stood stopped Suddenly sure talk taotai tears tell thought told took tried truth trying turned voice waiting walked wall wanted What's Wild Gin Wild Ginger woman Wuhu yecai yelled