Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

A Novel

by Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See X
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2006, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

The practice of foot binding began around 970 BC. Bound feet were described as 'lily feet' because they were considered so beautiful and were symbolic of gentility and high-class.

The process began for a girl between 3 and 11 years. The four small toes were broken and turned under and bound, then the arches were broken so the foot could be pulled straight with the leg. Overtime the feet would shrink so they could fit in 'lotus shoes' 3 inches long. In the 1600s the Manchu Dynasty attempted to end foot binding but it was not officially banned until 1911, when the New Republic was formed. The history of foot binding

Nu shu literally means 'woman's writing'. It was developed by women of the Hunan province in secret over hundreds of years (women were forbidden any formal education). The characters are rendered in a more cursive style than written Chinese. The last woman proficient in Nu shu (believed to be the world's only female-specific language) died in 2004 in her 90s, ending a 400-year-old tradition. More about Nu Shu.

This article was originally published in July 2005, and has been updated for the February 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.