About the Book
Tales of Ming Courtesans by Alice Poon
Publication Date: June 1, 2020
Paperback; 354 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
From the author of The Green Phoenix comes a riveting tale of female friendship, honor, and sacrifice for love, set in 17th Century China and featuring the intertwined stories of three of the era’s most renowned courtesans, escorts skilled in music, poetry and painting who could decide themselves whether or not to offer patrons bed favors.
Inspired by literary works and folklore, Tales of Ming Courtesans traces the destinies of the three girls from the seamy world of human trafficking and slavery to the cultured scene of the famously decadent pleasure district of the city of Nanjing, evoking episodes in Memoirs of a Geisha.
The girls all existed – Rushi was a famous poet, Yuanyuan became the concubine of a general who changed the course of Chinese history by supporting the Manchu invasion in 1644 and Xiangjun challenged the corruption of court officials to try to save her lover. Rushi’s daughter, Jingjing, gradually pieces together the stories of the three from a memoir left to her by her mother.
Betrayal, tenacity and hope all come together in a novel that brings to life an important era in China’s history, and particularly highlights the challenges faced by independent-minded women.
Praise for Tales of Ming Courtesans
“In Tales of Ming Courtesans, Alice Poon masterfully brings to life three fascinating women who had a lasting impact on China’s culture and history. This beautiful telling of their turbulent lives and devoted friendship is a reverential testament to their memories.” – Kelli Estes, bestselling author of The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
“Tales of Ming Courtesans is a poignant and captivating exploration of the lives of three extraordinary women…. Ultimately an enduring tale of the power of sisterhood and the bonds between women.” – Jeannie Lin, USA Today bestselling author of The Lotus Palace
“Tales of Ming Courtesans is a brilliant, ‘own voices’ alternative to Memoirs of a Geisha….An exquisite reading experience. Highly, highly recommended.” – M. H. Boroson, author of The Girl With Ghost Eyes
“Alice Poon’s excellent Tales of Ming Courtesans follows the intertwined lives of three seventeenth-century courtesans….. Poon’s real achievement is to create believable depth to her characters’ known histories….She has clearly written Tales from the heart.” – David Leffman, author of The Mercenary https://www.youtube.com/embed/p6PS0P3TjsA
Gah, I am so in love with stories set in this dynasty. There’s just so much glam, drama, and art. It is also a time that women were able to use their social caste against the men who tried to deem them as lesser citizens. And while this may be a time period I most definitely wouldn’t want to have lived through, it makes for some excellent stories and a history worth learning from.
I love that this book is based off of real people in history. It makes the story that much more incredulous. These women used what many would consider hopeless situations to literally change the world and make history. It’s really quite inspiring when you think about it. They went through so much, yet they persevered. They had courage that many people could only hope to have.
This book really hooked me into the story. It was so interesting and I loved knowing that the characters in this book actually lived at one point in time. I always like stories that make me think and want to learn more about the actual history and set of characters.
About the Author
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Alice Poon steeped herself in Chinese poetry and history, Jin Yongís martial arts novels and English Literature in her school days. This early immersion has inspired her creative writing.
Always fascinated with iconic but unsung women in Chinese history and legends, she cherishes a dream of bringing them to the page.
Her new historical novel Tales of Ming Courtesans will be released by Earnshaw Books on June 1, 2020.
She is the author of The Green Phoenix and the bestselling and award-winning non-fiction title Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong. She now lives in Vancouver, Canada and devotes her time to writing historical Chinese fiction.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, May 26
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Wednesday, May 27
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Friday, May 29
Review at Reader then Blogger
Monday, June 1
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, June 3
Guest Post at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Friday, June 5
Review at YA, it’s Lit
Monday, June 8
Interview at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, June 10
Feature at What Is That Book About
Friday, June 12
Review at Passages to the Past
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Tales from Ming Courtesans! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 12th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*