• Non-Fiction
  • Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of An Unwanted Daughter

Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of An Unwanted Daughter


In this autobiography Adeline Yen Mah describes her life growing up in China during the 1940s.  Mah is blamed for her mother's death in childbirth and when her father remarries soon after, she and her siblings are relegated to second class by their new stepmother.  Their father moves the family to Shanghai to escape the Japanese during WWII and Mah is treated as an outcast.  She and her siblings live in the attic, subsist on meager rations and Mah is forgotten by her father and beaten by her stepmother.

This memoir revisits the scarring memories of Mah's childhood and follows her as she courageously endures vicious neglect and ostracism turning to the grand escape into the world of story for a safe place and friends she could count on.

The history of the time period including the Communist takeover and the traditional practices of Chinese life give a backdrop to the chapters of her struggle to survive.

Vivid, heartbreaking and inspiring.

240 pages       978-0385740074        Ages 12 and up


"A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.

A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family.

Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice. Includes 6-page photo insert."--from the publisher


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