align left In poised and elegant prose, Kathryn Harrison weaves a stunning story of women, travel, and flight of love, revenge, and fear of the search for home and the need to escape it Set in alluring Shanghai at the turn of the century, The Binding Chair intertwines the destinies of a Chinese woman determined to forget her past and a Western girl focused on the promises of the future....
|Title||:||The Binding Chair: or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society|
|Publisher||:||Harper Perennial June 26, 2001|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
|File Size||:||589 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Binding Chair: or, A Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society Reviews
This book isn't about foot binding specifically. I was disappointed, but it was still a good read.
The Binding Chair is an exotic mixture of a woman's search for love, acceptance, and significance. Set in turn of the 19th century Shanghai, the book reveals the horrors of bound feet, not to mention other indignities that Chinese women had to endure. The juxtaposition of British imperial society with that of the upper class Chinese shows an uneasy mingling of cultures that is often difficult to understand. The main character, May, is a Chinese woman who escapes an unfortunate arranged marriage and purposely finds herself a place in a high class brothel. From there she goes on to marriage in the upper class, but her life in not necessarily a happy one. May experiences loss, not only of her first family, but of her own family as well. The tragedies that affect May also affect those around her especially her neice, Alice, and other women she encounters. The pain May experiences in her bound feet, reflects the inner pain she suffers for her past and what could have been her future. The binding chair, where her grandmother tied her to bind and break her feet, is symbolic of the invisible bonds of society and the ever present tranquility of opium; that May overcomes her bonds with offers of kindness and charity, is a tribute to her enduring spirit and her search for freedom. Ultimately, this is a spellbinding novel about the nature of women's committment to themselves and to family, and ultimately, to the traditions that bind them to their time and place. A must for discerning readers.
The book was okay I just wish they would have focus more on the past and less on the now in the book. It barely even discussed what the title says it would. Foot binding was a brief footnote at best in the story.
Kathryn Harrison writes a haunting, swirling tale of love and suffering and joy and pain in this amazing historic novel that pulled me into a strange and exotic world. Other reviewers have complained of the pain and often terrible plight of the main character, May-Li, but life is not all sweetness and light. May-Li is strong character that endures and perserveres and makes a life despite the cruelties she's suffered. The book has funny moments and adventures and great characters and is throughtfully interwoven with trancelike imagery. I couldn't put this book down and have become a devoted Harrison fan.
Its like the author has never been over seas but has an asian friend somewhere but they are no longer friends, maybe stop being friends about 1/3 of the way though the book. Do more research umm ya
Was the author in a hurry? Did she enjoy writing this book, or did she take out her press for time and/or obligatory book release deadline on the characters in this book? The storyline is incredibly unbelievable and unrealistic. Why did I finish the book? I ask myself the same question. Perhaps because I kept hoping for some sense to arrive in the storyline. When I reached the last page, I could only shake my head with disappointment...and I promptly added the book to the box for charity instead of making room for it on my personal library shelf.
The majority of the members in our book club didn't finish this book. It was the worst book I've read in a long time.
After reading Kathryn's memoir about her incestuous relationship with her father I was surprised to find this book. The heroine in unapologetic about her selfishness and self serving kindness to others. But i admire her much like i admire Scarlett O'hara in gone with the wind. However this woman in much more cruel.