The Last Empress: A Novel

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr 7, 2008 - Fiction - 320 pages
24 Reviews
The last decades of the nineteenth century were a violent period in China’s history, marked by humiliating foreign incursions and domestic rebellions and ending in the demise of the Ch’ing Dynasty. The only constant during this tumultuous time was the power wielded by one woman, the resilient, ever-resourceful Tsu Hsi -- or Empress Orchid, as readers came to know her in Anchee Min’s critically acclaimed, best-selling novel covering her rise to power.

The Last Empress is the story of Orchid’s dramatic transition from a strong-willed, instinctive young woman to a wise and politically savvy leader who ruled China for more than four decades. In this concluding volume Min gives us a compelling, very human leader who assumed power reluctantly and sacrificed all to protect those she loved and an empire that was doomed to die.

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Review: The Last Empress (Empress Orchid #2)

User Review  - Carolinecarver - Goodreads

Arduous reading but fascinating portrayal of Empress Tzu Hsi, Orchid, the concubine who bore the Emperor's son and heir to the throne. She was the power behind the Ch'ing dynasty for forty years as ... Read full review

Review: The Last Empress (Empress Orchid #2)

User Review  - Lyn Stapleton - Goodreads

I didn't enjoy this as much as the first one (Empress Orchid). It got a little bogged down in places with unnecessary (I thought) details. She probably could have left out about 200 pages. It also ... Read full review

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Page 2 - kept an unusually close record of my secret association with the Empress and with others, possessing notes and manuscripts written to me by Her Majesty'.

About the author (2008)

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao’s Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She came to the United States in 1984 with the help of actress Joan Chen. Her memoir, Red Azalea, was named one of the New York Times Notable Books of 1994 and was an international bestseller, with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels Becoming Madame Mao and Empress Orchid were published to critical acclaim and were national bestsellers. Her two other novels, Katherine and Wild Ginger, were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales.

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