Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. She has also published six highly-acclaimed historical fiction novels about China, including the Richard & Judy Book Club choice Empress Orchid and Pearl of China.
In The Cooked Seed, Min returns to her astonishing life story – an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money, or a clear path. It is a hard and lonely road. We follow Min as she teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, suffers brutalities, marries poorly and divorces. But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann, who inspires her and finally roots her in her new country.
Min’s eventual successes – her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves – are remarkable, but it is her struggle toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.