The Valley of Amazement

The Valley of Amazement

Amy Tan

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 0062107321

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.



















is old and ugly?” Edward took me up a wide stairway and into a library lined with walls of books. At one end was a billiard table with a rounded belly and green-and-red fringe, and at the other an arrangement of two brown velvet sofas facing each other, along with armchairs, square tables stacked with books, and reading lamps. We made our way to the other end of the hall and to a closed door. Edward said it was our bedroom. He opened it and revealed a small room with only a small table. I was

his arms following a successful bout of ecstasy, I cited the sunless cold, and the embarrassment of having quarters that were far less comfortable than what the rest of the family enjoyed. “The stone passageway carries our voices like a gramophone horn. Everyone can hear what we’re doing.” “Don’t exaggerate,” he said with a laugh. “It’s true. Magic Gourd says the neighbors stand by the wall to listen to us, as if we’re an opera troupe.” He laughed. “Let them listen. It’s the most excitement

to be a poem about the landscape of Heaven Mountain. It described a tree with a branch bent like a man’s arm, a rock in the shape of a turtle—many different landmarks, including boulders on the trail that a person could climb over, but a horse could not. There were also words like left, right, straight, up, down, the third one, the second one. She realized she was holding the directions for going to the top of the mountain, to Buddha’s Hand.” My heart soared. A means of escape. “Did you write

eyes, and this was not due to love but the punishment of the wind. My teeth chattered like castanets. I imagined us standing on another boat in another week’s time, that one going to Shanghai. “It’s so beautiful out here. I wish this boat would sail all the way to China,” I said. He said nothing. Perhaps he knew the reason I had said that. He was solemn, impenetrable, a stranger. ”I would like to go to China one day. Perhaps I could talk my mother into it if I make it an expedition to find

compliment the servants on their obedience and quickness. I was more courteous with the beauties than I had been when I was younger, but I did not speak to them in Chinese, unless I forgot, which I did more often than I would have liked. I was not uppity, however, with Golden Dove or Cracked Egg. Nor was I cool-hearted with Snowy Cloud’s attendant, Piety, who had a daughter, Little Ocean, whom Carlotta liked. Ever since my scuffle with Misty Cloud six years ago, no one in the house had mentioned

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