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Mingmei Yip | Song of the Silk Road
Author Guest / April 15, 2011

Though I did not consciously plan it this way, I find I like to write about brave women who live unconventional lives, not always by their own choice. My new novel  SONG OF THE SILK is a romantic adventure on China’s fabled route and the Taklamakan Desert with the lure of a three million dollar reward. I owe my this novel to a brave and unconventional writer — and a dream. A Taiwanese woman who called herself Echo was one of my favorite  authors. She was much loved by Chinese readers but, sadly, her work has never been translated into English. In the seventies, her descriptions of her adventures with her husband in the Sahara Desert captivated many readers, including myself. One episode – I won’t give it away here – is based on something that happened to her husband. Inspired by her, I always wanted to write about a young woman’s adventures in the desert. I had thought of drawing on Echo’s life for my desert novel, but then found my imagination led me in a different direction. A lifelong fascination with the romantic history of the Silk Road was brought to life when I traveled there a few…

Mingmei Yip | Changing Topics
Author Guest , Guests / September 20, 2010

A few readers, after having read my two novels, asked me a similar question, “Is it difficult to write about a prostitute then a nun?” My answer was no. Because prostitute or nun, they are women and human beings. I love to write about women, especially heroines who are on the verge of drastic transformation — their courage, struggles, and triumphs. In my debut novel Peach Blossom Pavilion, story of the last Chinese courtesan, or geisha, Precious Orchid is tricked into a prostitution house after her father is executed for a crime he had not committed and her mother banished to a Buddhist nunnery, Precious Orchid finds herself abandoned in Peach Blossom Pavilion, an elite house of prostitution. At first, life at Peach Blossom Pavilion feels like a dream to the thirteen year-old. Precious Orchid enjoys her poetry, music and calligraphy lessons and feels herself thriving. But all too soon she discovers that this is merely a prelude to her role of pleasing customers, including China’s most powerful men. The novel relates her survival and ultimate triumph: how she escaped from the prostitution house, reunited with her long lost mother, avenged her father, finally finding true love and starting a…