The Concubine of Shanghai

Front Cover
Marion Boyars, 2008 - Fiction - 396 pages
2 Reviews

“Like all Hong Ying’s work,Kis written with a wonderfully intense simplicity—it’s tough, uncompromising, direct and tense with strong emotion, but also full of poetry and grace.”—Andrew Motion

Sold by her uncle in 1907 to the First Salon of Gifted Girls, a reputable brothel, sixteen-year-old Cassia is plucked from the ranks of servant girl by a powerful client. Power Chang is the boss of the fearsome Shanghai Triad. In spite of her large feet and pendulous breasts, both unbound, Cassia swiftly becomes his favorite mistress and enjoys her first passionate encounters as well as her first taste of luxurious living.

The story follows Cassia after the violent death of Power Chang and her subsequent rise to “godmother” of Shanghai. She not only seduces the next Triad boss, Huang, after he hears her opera troupe, but also his lacky, Yu, who replaces the murdered Huang as the next Triad leader.

This novel will appeal to anyone interested in China, triad politics and history, and the position of women as sexual slaves to men in Shanghai’s houses of ill repute.

Hong Yinggrew up in the 1960s in the slums of Chongquing on the Yangtze River in China. An author and poetess, she is best known in the English-speaking world for her novelsK: The Art of Love,Peacock Cries,Summer of Betrayal, and her autobiography,Daughter of the River.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - brangwinn - LibraryThing

I chose this book after I read an article comparing the author, Hong Ying to Amy Tan. I have to agree. This lengthy book was just as enjoyable as the books by Amy Tan or Lisa See. The translator, Liu ... Read full review

Great Historical Fiction!

User Review  - KBeut - Borders

Hong Ying does a wonderful job in detailing the intricate workings of the Chinese Brotherhoods and inner workings of the brothels. It flowed very well and was truly something I couldn't put down. Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

26 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Hong Ying was born in Chingqing in 1962 into a boat sailor's family. She was the sixth child in a family of eight, and endured great poverty and hunger as a child during the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution.

Bibliographic information