Friday, 6 December 2013

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

When I was seven, I knew exactly who I was: a thoroughly American girl in race, manners, and speech, whose mother, Lulu Minturn, was the only white woman who owned a first-class courtesan house in Shanghai.

Thus begins an epic exercise in exposition, though it's a mix of plot, back story, setting and conflict. 

Nevertheless, this opening line introduces setting, character, and conflict, or at least an awkward situation, as being white with a courtesan house in Shanghai can't be all smooth sailing.

What follows is a historical and psychological character analysis executed with dense paragraphs. For the first few pages every first sentence of each paragraph has an "I" or a "my" in it as the narrator unleashes her story on us.

First thing said:

"You spoke Chinee to a Chinee beggar and that makes you Chinee.”

Verdict: Pass (barely)

Theodore Moracht

No comments:

Post a Comment