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In Peking, in 1914, eight-year-old Eastern Jewel, daughter of Prince Su's last concubine, peers from behind a carved screen as her father makes love to a bound-footed servant girl. Overhead the gathering clouds foreshadow the end of peace, and the start of Eastern Jewel's own tumultuous story. Eastern Jewel is an intoxicating heroine - a feisty, rebellious woman who refuses to accept mutely the docile, subservient role that early twentieth-century Chinese society prescribes for her. Her early sexual curiosity sees her banished as a young girl to live with distant relatives in Tokyo, then forced into a passionless marriage in bleak, freezing Mongolia.Increasingly isolated, at night she is plagued by disturbing fantasies and unsettling dreams. But she is a bold, rebellious woman who refuses to be pinned down by anyone - least of all a man - and in the dazzling city of Shanghai she puts her thrill-seeking nature to work spying for the Japanese, spurning her Chinese heritage and everything she once held dear.
Based on the real-life story of Yoshiko Kawashima, a fascinating but contradictory heroine who battled to juggle her extraordinary public life with her private paper demons, "The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel" is stormy, vivid and an utterly intoxicating tale of sexual manipulation and self-discovery that spans three countries and a world war.
Author: Maureen Lindley
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 01 Jun 2009