Author: Pearl S. Buck
Translator: Eun-jeong Lee
380 pages | 188*128mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean.|
About This Book
"The Three Daughters of Madame Liang" was Pearl S. Buck's last major novel and it holds its own with the best of her work. In Madame Liang, Buck has created a fascinating character, a woman who is very much her own person. After doing the very un-Chinese thing of leaving her husband when he takes a concubine, which he claims is his right because his wife has produced no son, Madame Liang determines to make her own way in the world and opens a gourmet restaurant that caters to the high and mighty of the People's Republic (even good Communists appreciate good food). She has not only survived, but thrived, by keeping a low profile and providing her customers with the best. But she has sent her three daughters, Grace, Mercy and Joy, to America to be educated; and now, after many years separation, Grace has been called home by her government to serve the new society.
Madame Liang has her own opinions about the new society which she has prudently kept to herself. But Grace, back home in China, throws herself into her work as a doctor and embraces everything blindly, including a young physician named Liu Pang, who parrots everything he has read in Mao's Little Red Book. Mercy, the second sister, is a musician, whose talents are not in demand in the People's Republic; but she misses her home and induces her new husband, a rocket scientist, to return to their country. For Grace, the return home is the fulfillment of herself; for Mercy and her husband, it is a disaster. Meanwhile, the third sister, Joy, a painter, having found romance and happiness with a fellow artist who has left China for good and never intends to return, remains in America to make her life with him.
Madame Liang watches the growing tension and hostility dividing the two older sisters with alarm and resignation. She can't live her daughters' lives for them; all she can do is keep on living her own life. But her own life can't survive the insanity of the Cultural Revolution; the very success of her restaurant means she's an enemy of the working classes. The Cultural Revolution sweeps everything away in its path; including Madame Liang.
Buck writes with a flow that keeps her book moving effortlessly along like an unbroken skein of thread (one gets thoroughly caught up in the narrative before realizing that there are no chapters; the book moves from one scene to the next till the final page), covering some six or seven years from the end of the 50's to 1966. Through it all, Madame Liang's continually expressed faith in her country and people suggest that, whatever her own fate, China and its people will survive in spite of themselves. Although the book is ostensibly about her three daughters, it's really the story of a remarkable woman, and through her, the story of China in transition. --Judy Lind
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