A debut of historical fiction on exile of Su Shih (1037-1101), the millennium charm in Chinese world past and present.
Old Party statesman Su opposed to Want An Shi’s New Party reforms to fight Tartar invasion by milking people to fill depleted Treasury to strengthen defense. Su aspired to serve his nation and people but denied by revenge of opponents and friend turned foe, Chang Dun. Emperors were abducted to banishment edicts smothering Su’s longing for home.
His life was a roller coaster ride: from Emperors’ future star or Empress Dowagers’ favorite statesman with orchestrated super comback to prisoner or farmer recluse; fun and frolic with monks and courtseans at paradise on earth (Hangzhou) to hunger and poverty in wild south savoring exotic fruits and honey dipped rats or homeless with aborigines at edge of the world (Hainan Island.), Yet he combatted floods or famines, rescued orphans or refugees and even fought as activist for indigenous women’s rights. His love and loss of two wives or fairy like concubine Morning Cloud and her infant son in exile melt iron hearts with his poetry.
Jumping in and out of an exile map at a Taipei exhibition on Su Shih with Sunflower Movement against China Reunification outside, modern narrator and key characters relive in fantasy Su’s life interwoven into three novellas on power play, migration and death with Su addressed in second person.
A mirror of conflicts reflecting universal nature of man and ideologies past and present to all. A fun, enlightening read to learn Eastern ways and Zen, Tao or Confucian lingo for Western readers. Like “Empress Orchid” by An Chee Min and “Peony in Love” by Lisa See except with myriad perspectives from diverse ideologies and backgrounds to shed light on today’s world woes. Buy eBook at Amazon!
Sales revenue will be donated to the Anders Home project.