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Rules for Virgins by Amy Tan
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Rules for Virgins

by Amy Tan

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I wish it were a novel! ( )
  Momjai | Sep 24, 2013 |
Rules for Virgins by Amy Tan is a short story in which a virgin courtesan is being told the ins and outs of the profession. Set in 1912 Shanghai, Magic Gourd is explaining the ways in which courtesans gain favor with the wealthiest of men. Violet, a young woman whose mother owned a similar house of women, is being tutored in the ways of beguiling and pampering not only the men they want to attract, but the other women in the house so that competition does not become deadly.

Read the full review: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2013/03/short-story-friday-rules-for-virgins-by-amy-... ( )
  sagustocox | Mar 28, 2013 |
After a much anticipated wait for new material from Amy Tan, I was sadly disappointed by the brevity and lack of substance in this book. A seasoned courtesan gives advice to a young virgin on the tricks of the trade. With little story and an abrupt ending, my time could have been much better spent. ( )
  poetreegirl | Feb 26, 2013 |
As an excerpt (or teaser, if you will) of her next novel, this was fine. I'm sure I'll read Valley of Amazement.

As a standalone work (which is what I had thought this was as I read it), it fell flat. There was no character development, and it could've fit right into Memoirs of a Geisha, something I found surprising considering this took place in Shanghai rather than Kyoto, Japan. I finished wanting more and being disappointed in the first Amy Tan book in six years.

I shouldn't say "no character development." There's a little. You get to know a bit about the narrator and her life as a former courtesan through hints she drops and the anecdotes she shares. Those were the best parts, and I intend to read Valley of Amazement to get more of her story. ( )
  Kara | Jan 14, 2012 |
Rules for Virgins is presented as a monologue as an experienced (so old in her 30s!) courtesan trains a seventeen-year-old in turn-of-the-century Shanghai. Through her instruction, Magic Gourd reveals a world of jealousy, deceit, and competition, but also pride, eloquence, and synergy. Similar to Memoirs of a Geisha, but with more character, Rules for Virgins is an intriguing narrative. ( )
  Luxx | Jan 3, 2012 |
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Do you want to wear out your insides by the time you are sixteen?  Of course not.  Then learn these lessons well.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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1912 Shanghai sees beautiful courtesans mercilessly competing for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. Veteran seducer Magic Gourd advises aspiring but inexperienced Violet on the unwritten tricks of the trade by reaching back into her own professional past, bringing her lessons alive with stories and anecdotes from a career spent charming and manipulating men who should have known better but rarely did.… (more)

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