Snow flower and the secret fan book
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See's Official WebsiteJun 28, Minutes Buy. May 26, ISBN Feb 21, ISBN Jun 28, ISBN Jun 28, Minutes. Lily is haunted by memories—of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence.
SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN: "Foot Binding"
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives. Illiterate and isolated, they were not expected to think, be creative, or have emotions. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their windows to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. The prose is elegant, the voice sure, the story unforgettable —at times punishing in its authenticity. The wonder of this book is that it takes readers to a place at once foreign and familiar— foreign because of its time and setting, yet familiar because this landscape of love and sorrow is inhabited by us all. Snow F lower and the Secret Fan is a triumph on every level, a beautiful, heartbreaking story.
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In her introduction to the novel, See writes that Lily, the narrator, was born on June 5, —"the fifth day of the sixth month of the third year of the Daoguang Emperor 's reign". It continues on to tell the story of her life from birth, childhood, marriage, and old age. During her lifetime, Lily lives through the reigns of four emperors of the Qing dynasty : Daoguang — ; Xianfeng — ; Tongzhi — ; and Guangxu — The University of Southern California China historian Charlotte Furth wrote that Western readers think of Chinese women simply as victims and focus on such problems as footbinding and arranged marriages, but that Lisa See's historical novels "follow the best feminist scholarship on women in the Ming - Qing period by tackling these stereotypes. In rural Hunan province, a county in China, Lily and her friend Snow Flower are a laotong pair whose sisterly relationship is far stronger and closer than a husband and wife's. Lily's aunt describes a laotong match this way: "A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose—to have sons.