Anchee Min

Chinese-American author

Anchee Min (January 14, 1957) is a Chinese-American author.

Anchee Min (2014)


  • In all of my historical novels (from Becoming Madame Mao to Empress Orchid and The Last Empress to Pearl of China) I have tried to be as accurate as possible because accuracy gives my historical themes weight. But some have been more literally true than others. The advantage of being a novelist is having the freedom to go directly after the truth of the human heart…
  • I didn't have to do the research I did for my historical novels, especially Empress Orchid, on which I labored to line up every account/record — investigative journalism, so to speak. The challenge about writing The Cooked Seed as a memoir was the issue of honesty, as how far and how deep was I willing to go to expose, examine, and dissect my life — that included doing autopsies on my flaws and personal failures.
  • I had no expectations. I thought, “If I don’t make it, it’s my own fault.” In China I had to suffer and labour for the Communist Party – here I was given the opportunity to suffer and labour for myself and to build my own life. I chose to look at the glass half full – I think that’s a very immigrant attitude.
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