My Last Empress: Book summary and reviews of My Last Empress by Da Chen

My Last Empress

A Novel

By Da Chen

My Last Empress
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2012,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

A sweeping story of passion and obsession, set against the upheavals of 19th-century imperial China, by the New York Times bestselling author Da Chen.

   When Samuel Pickens' great love tragically loses her life, Samuel travels the globe, Annabelle always on his mind. Eventually, he comes face to face with the mirror image of his obsession in the last place he would expect, and must discover her secrets and decide how far he will go for a woman he loves. 

Da Chen immerses the reader in the world of the Chinese imperial palace, filled with ghosts and grief, where bewitching concubines, treacherous eunuchs, and fierce warlords battle for supremacy. Da takes us deeply into an epic saga of 19th century China, where one man searches for his destiny and a forbidden love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Nabokov meets Dream of the Red Chamber...A lyrical tale of crossed borders, boundaries and destinies, expertly told." – Kirkus

"A wonderful tale of passionate obsession…the prose is elegantly inviting." – Library Journal

"The best romance stories are always the most fearless…Sweeps you away with visions of a bygone age of royal extravagance…Fans of sweeping historical romance like Gone with the Wind and Ian McEwan's Atonement, as well as fans of transgressive sexual explorations like Nabokov's Lolita, will find another engrossing story in My Last Empress. It's both moving and frightening, dark and hopeful, gut-wrenching and inspiring. Chen has delivered another powerful work in an already stellar career." - Bookpage

"Steeped in the language and colors of an Asia long gone… Chen's 19th-century tale of obsession explores the line between love and madness." - Publishers Weekly

"In My Last Empress, Da Chen pushes the reader into the strangest corners of the human heart, with a style of pure creepy gorgeousness. Like a fan opening, vane by mysterious vane." - Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black

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Author Information

Da Chen Author Biography

Phtot: Thomas Jack Hilton

Da Chen grew up in the deep south of China, running barefoot in muddy fields and riding the backs of water buffaloes. As the grandson of a disgraced landowner, he was a victim of communist political persecution and hollowing poverty during the Cultural Revolution. His family was beaten, his father thrown in reform camp, and young Chen, at the age of nine, was threatened with imprisonment.

Da arrived in America at the age of 23 with $30 in his pocket, a bamboo flute, and a heart filled with hope. He attended Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship, and upon graduating, worked for the Wall Street investment banking firm of Rothschilds, Inc.

Da has published two memoirs (with one adapted for children as well) and four novels, two for children. In addition to writing, Da is...

... Full Biography
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