Pearl of Brentwood

John Evans reports:

Last week we had one of our most intense author luncheons ever: Anchee Min. Her new book, Pearl of China, is a novel about the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author and activist Pearl S. Buck. It is the latest in a line of seven wonderful, fascinating books by her, from Red Azalea to Becoming Madame Mao.

The luncheon, which was Min’s first event on the six-week tour for this book, was at Chez Mimi, across the street from our bookstore in Brentwood. Min was like a lightning bolt, powerfully weaving story after story about growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, working in a labor camp, emigrating to the U.S., raising her daughter. She delved into the history of China under Mao, feminism in China and the U.S., being an American mother, and wanting to be a martyr as a teenager. She brought so much passion, intensity, and fierce storytelling to her talk that we were totally enthralled. She finished it off with a brief performance of Chinese Opera that was brilliantly accomplished. Our only regret was that more people didn’t get to see her. Afterward, in the store, we quickly asked her what her favorite author, music, and film were, before she whizzed off to her next event at the library that night.

Perhaps our next poetry selection will become one of your favorites. Here’s Grant from Oakland reading Georg Trakl‘s “Destruction”:

Check out the full archive of poetry videos here!


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