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Anchee Min
The Last Empress
In conversation with novelist Aimee Liu

The sequel to Min's critically-acclaimed, internationally bestselling Empress Orchid covers the decades of the last half of the 19th century, a violent, tumultuous period in China's history marked by humiliating foreign incursions and domestic rebellion, ultimately ending in the demise of the Ch'ing dynasty.

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. Her critically acclaimed memoir, Red Azalea, recounts her experience during the Cultural Revolution, a period she revists in fictional form in her national bestselling Becoming Madame Mao. With the internationally bestselling novel Empress Orchid, Min continued her project of offering extensively researched, highly revisionist accounts of critical female figures in modern Chinese history. Min's new book, The Last Empress, continues this masterful revisionist work.

Aimee Liu is the author of Flash House (Warner Books, 2003), a tale of suspense and Cold War intrigue set in Central Asia. Liu's previous novel, Cloud Mountain (Warner Books, 1997), is based on the true story of her American grandmother and Chinese revolutionary grandfather. Her first novel, Face (Warner Books, 1994), deals with mixed-race identity. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Liu's nonfiction includes GAINING: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders (Warner Books, 2007) and America's first published memoir of anorexia nervosa, Solitaire (Harper & Row, 1979). She has edited business and trade publications, worked as an associate producer for NBC's Today Show, and co-authored seven nonfiction books on medical and psychological topics. Liu received her B.A. from Yale University in 1975. She teaches creative writing at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles; and is a past president of the national writers' organization PEN USA.

Official Website: http://www.lfla.org/aloud/php/a.calendar.bioText.php?month=04&year=2007&day=12

Added by kiracle on February 17, 2007