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Pavillion of Women (1946)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 155921287X, Paperback)On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed. Elegant and detached, Madame Wu orchestrates this change as she manages everything in the extended household of more than sixty relatives and servants. Alone in her own quarters, she relishes her freedom and reads books she has never been allowed to touch. When her son begins English lessons, she listens, and is soon learning from the "foreigner," a free-thinking priest named Brother Andre, who will change her life. Few books raise so many questions about the nature and roles of men and women, about self-discipline and happiness.
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 03:24:49 -0400)
"Nobel Prize-winning American author Pearl Buck's 1946 novel about a Chinese woman who decides to leave her marriage on her fortieth birthday, choosing a concubine for her landed-class husband and moving on to a life of freedom." *** "Madame Wu, at 40, retires from married life, planning to find a concubine for her husband and become a chief manager of the house of Wu."
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