Press Release (in London, England)
Chinese Cinderella – The Mystery of the Song Dynasty Painting
Published by Puffin Books on 6 August 2009 in Paperback, Price £6.99
- Adeline Yen Mah’s autobiography Falling Leaves was a publishing sensation, going on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide
- Her children’s adaptation of Falling Leaves, Chinese Cinderella, has achieved equal success with 450,000 copies sold in the UK and over 1 million copies worldwide.
- In Chinese Cinderella: The Mystery of the Song Dynasty Painting, Chinese Cinderella now goes on to new adventures, drawing children and people of all ages into a fascinating encounter with Chinese culture and an iconic painting from the Song Dynasty in particular
Painted during the 12th Century AD, Along the River During the Qing Ming Festival is China’s most famous painting. Mah has written a stunning historical novel reconstructing the circumstances of the painting’s creation by the artist Zhang Ze-duan.
Running to escape a mysterious woman in Shanghai Market, Chinese Cinderella scrabbles across wet roof shingles before tumbling into a void… Following her fall, she begins to recall a previous life, lived 800 years ago as the artist Zhang Ze-duan’s thirteen-year-old sister, Zhang Mei-lang.
Drawing on the history of the era, Adeline Yen Mah evokes the power struggles and domestic tensions within the Zhang household. Through the eyes of the young heroine, everyday life during the Song Dynasty is described so vividly that readers will smell the stench of latrines in the outhouse, see the calligraphy on the oblong red boxes, hear the songs being sung to zither music and taste the goose liver, deer’s tongue and bears’ paws being served.
Chinese Cinderella and the Mystery of the Song Dynasty Painting introduces Chinese art and history, at a time when China is taking its place as a pre-eminent world power, and an unprecedented number of children are learning Mandarin. The book incorporates the Chinese language throughout and a glossary of useful Chinese words, as well as colour illustrations of the painting and two other artworks which form part of the story.
Adeline Yen Mah’s book is a jewel of a tale that mirrors the elegance and beauty of the ancient painting that inspired it.
Adeline Yen Mah spent her childhood in Tianjin and Shanghai in China, Hong Kong and England. She studied medicine but gave up her career as a physician to become a full-time writer. Following her stepmother’s death, Adeline felt compelled to write her story and the result, Falling Leaves, became an international bestseller.
Adeline went on to adapt her story for children under the title Chinese Cinderella. Chinese Cinderella became a phenomenal success, selling over 450,000 copies in the UK alone and over a million worldwide. Adeline has gone on to write several further titles for both adults and children, including Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society, an adventure based on her own made-up stories when she was a lonely child.
In addition to her writing, Adeline is also involved with the Committee of 100 which is organizing the U.S. Pavilion for the forthcoming 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Adeline Yen Mah divides her time between California and London.Chinese Character A Day, to see this excerpt translated into Chinese.