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The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody…
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The Painter from Shanghai

by Jennifer Cody Epstein

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A moving novel re-imaging the life of Pan Yuliang, a Chinese woman who became a well-known artist in Paris in the first half of the twentieth century.

Pan Yuliang was a Chinese artist who gained acclaim in the twentieth century for her paintings. Her style is a mix of European Post-Impressionism and traditional Chinese styles. As a woman painter willing to paint nudes, she was unique and controversial in China. Little is actually known about her personal life beyond the fact that an uncle sold her into a brothel when her parents died. She was freed, married, and studied art in China and Europe. As the Japanese invasion of Shanghai loomed, she left to spend the rest of her life in Europe, where many of her works were created.

Jennifer Cody Epstein is an American woman with a background in international relations. She has lived and worked as a journalist in Asia and now lives with her family in New York City. When she saw Pan’s art and learned a little of her remarkable life, she began the extensive research that led to her novel. She delved deeply into the written sources which enabled her to place Pan’s story in the historical context of pre-World War II China. In creating a fictional version of her subject’s life, she relied on her paintings.

Read more:http://wp.me/p24OK2-16D
  mdbrady | May 26, 2014 |
Fictionalized biography of Chinese painter, Pan Yuliang (1895 - 1977), the first Chinese painter to paint and exhibit Western-influenced works in China. ( )
  Library2.0Play | May 19, 2014 |
After finishing this book, I had to look up some of Pan Yuliang's paintings, especially her controversial nudes. I really enjoyed this novel about the life of a female Chinese painter, who was sold into prostitution as child but nevertheless managed to obtain an education and studied art in France and Rome, realizing her talent as a painter. This novel also provides a fascinating description of the painter's native China during a turbulent period. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 14, 2011 |
This was not bad. It was actually pretty good in the first half. The first half is about Pan when she is a child and her drug addict uncle sells her to a prostitution house. Pan makes a good friend and reader's will see the impact this girl friend had on the rest of Pan's life. I found the first half very touching and intimate. It had a "Memoirs of a Geisha" type feel to it. After the loss of her good friend, Pan meets an important man that decides to rescue her. She becomes his concubine and thankfully for her, he is a man open minded enough to allow her to pursue her painting. After a few rough spots and struggles including the starving artist phase, she becomes one of very few female artists in China. However, this is when it gets boring. The last half of the book is mostly about art and very little about Pan. There is also a major injection of politics in the last half regarding China, Japan, Italy, and France. I simply scanned over what bored me and got back to what I thought was the "good parts" or drama. I did get the impression Pan was a bit selfish in some ways and I found it odd that she was always painting herself naked, but I cannot claim to understand artists. Good book, but I would not read it again. ( )
  Soniamarie | Feb 16, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393065286, Hardcover)

Reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha, a re-imagining of the life of Pan Yuliang and her transformation from prostitute to post-Impressionist.

Down the muddy waters of the Yangtze River and into the seedy backrooms of "The Hall of Eternal Splendor," through the raucous glamour of prewar Shanghai and the bohemian splendor of 1920s Paris, and back to a China ripped apart by civil war and teetering on the brink of revolution: this novel tells the story of Pan Yuliang, one of the most talented—and provocative—Chinese artists of the twentieth century.

Jennifer Cody Epstein's epic brings to life the woman behind the lush, Cezannesque nude self-portraits, capturing with lavish detail her life in the brothel and then as a concubine to a Republican official who would ultimately help her find her way as an artist. Moving with the tide of historical events, The Painter from Shanghai celebrates a singularly daring painting style—one that led to fame, notoriety, and, ultimately, a devastating choice: between Pan's art and the one great love of her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A tale inspired by the life of pre-war Shanghai artist Pan Yuliang traces her life in a brothel before she becomes a concubine to a Republican official who ultimately helps her to find her way as an artist.

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393065286, 0393335313

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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