Cooked Seed

Min, Anchee

You may recall that I was enthusiastic about Min's first memoir, Red Azalea and her novel Wild Ginger. I expected to like Cooked Seed twice as hard. It starts more or less where Azalea leaves off--at Min's emigration to the US. Somehow, even after the stories of Cultural Revolution privations, cruelties and humiliations in the first part, Seed is harder to take. I guess because you can blame Min's problems on her, or maybe because you have to blame some of her problems on the United States.

While reading this memoir, until I gave up, about 80 pages from the end, I was struck by the idea that the entire population of China must have PTSD, either from the Cultural Revolution itself or from being raised someone who lived through it. I can't imagine anyone escaped unscathed.

Oct 19 2013