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The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel by…

The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Jennifer Cody Epstein

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4472423,394 (3.73)20
Title:The Painter from Shanghai: A Novel
Authors:Jennifer Cody Epstein
Info:W.W. Norton & Co. (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:To read

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The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein



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The fictional story of Pan Yuliang, a female Chinese artist in the early 1900's. Pan was sold by her uncle into a brothel. Here, however, she made female friends and eventually met a man who appreciated her gift of poetry and art. Eventually, she became the second wife of this man and was able to pursue her artistic talents. After her marriage, she is able to leave Shanghai and go to Paris where she studies with other artists in 1920's Paris. She was especially known for her work painting nudes which was quite a scandal at the time.

The book was interesting, but for me, the character of Yuliang never became real. ( )
  maryreinert | Jul 9, 2016 |
Knjiga me ocarala,prati kontraverznu kinesku slikarku od njene 14 godine,rada u bordelu,bjega iz njega preko tadasnjeg muza kojem postaje druga zena,do njenog uspjeha kao prve zene na akademiji umjetnosti koja ce biti upamcena kao slikarica aktova...predivna knjiga ( )
  ceca78 | Apr 10, 2016 |
This is a fictionalized account of the life Pan Yuliang, a post-impressionist Chinese painter who was quite controversial in her time—as a woman artist and painter of nudes, including nude self-portraits. Born at the end of the 19th century, she grew up in a time where women were culturally oppressed and when the entire country was undergoing a period of political upheaval. I thought Epstein did a beautiful job of conveying the cultural challenges Yuliang faced and overcame, eventually resulting in her move to France in 1937 in order to continue her painting.

I really enjoyed the first half of the book. There was a richness and depth in the telling of her early years--from orphan to prostitute to concubine. I became vested in her story as I saw her growing from a shy, downtrodden girl to becoming more self-possessed. However the second half fell a bit flat for me with the discussions of art and politics coming off as more an historical lesson rather than blending into the story of Yuliang’s development as an artist. I found myself skimming over those sections. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed this novel and have since viewed her artwork on the Internet. ( )
  bluebird_ | Jan 14, 2016 |
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 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:44 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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W.W. Norton

2 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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