Monday, April 4, 2011

"Song Of The Silk Road" by Mingmei Yip book review...

'Song of the Silk Road'
Mingmei Yip

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by
photographs of the desert--its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand
dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her
graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer. An aunt
she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across
China's desolate Taklamakan Desert--and carry out a series of tasks
along the way.

Intrigued, Lily accepts. her assignments range from the dangerous to
the bizarre. Lily must seduce a monk. She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountains of
Heaven to gather a rare herb. At Xion, her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection. And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny , and the shocking truth behind her aunt's motivations.

Powerful and eloquent, Song of the Silk Road is a  captivating story of self-discovery, resonant with the mysteries of its haunting, exotic landscape.

About the Author:

Mingnei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris,

Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist 
University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several
columns for several major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over 40 TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrated to the United States in 1992, where she now lives in New York City. Visit her at

An interview with the author:

Stephanie: Can you tell us something about yourself that not a lot of your readers don't know?

Mingmei: Besides my hectic writing schedule, that I still manage to take time
to perform the Chinese zither (guqin) professionally - last year I was
invited by Carnegie Hall to play at its Chinese Music Festival -- and teach
calligraphy workshops. 

Stephanie: What is your favorite part of the writing process? 
Mingmei : After I labor through getting down the first draft, as I polish up
my writing, I begin to enjoy my characters and their trials and struggles as
they work towards a happy ending. In my writing, I meet people like the
Chinese herbalist and blind fortune teller in Song of the Silk Road, whom I
might never meet in real life. 

Stephanie: Do you have any quirks that come out while you are writing?
Mingmei: I just plunge into my writing and ignore everything around me. Since
I was a tiny girl I have always preferred life inside my own head. 

Stephanie: What is your daily routine as a writer? 
Mingmei: I don't have a chance to write every day, but when I do, I write
eight or nine hours non-stop, then I eat Chinese take-out and fall asleep. 

Stephanie: What inspired you to write your first book?
Mingmei: I wanted to bring back to life the strong women of an earlier era
in China when almost the only choices for women were being a wife (actually,
one of several wives sharing the same husband), a Buddhist nun -- or a
prostitute. Despite this some women overcame the barriers to become
independent and creative artists. 
Some mingji, prestigious prostitutes, also called geishas, left
behind poems and paintings providing windows into fascinating but often
tragic lives. 
I decided to give these talented, powerful women -- silent for centuries --
a voice. 
The result is my first novel Peach Blossom Pavilion, which I'm happy
to say, is now in its fifth printing.

Buy a copy here.