Author Amy Kwei talk at Peabody Institute Library April 30

Can you imagine a woman giving her husband a Concubine for his birthday? How do the Chinese weather years of war and political upheaval to become the 2nd largest economy in the world? How do the Chinese educate their children? What is Confucianism? How does religion play a a role in China? Amy S. Kwei’s “character driven” novels tell the stories of a family living through tumultuous times. A Concubine for the Family is based very loosely on the true event of her grandmother giving her grandfather a concubine for his fiftieth birthday, to ensure an heir for the family. Under the Red Moon is the story of the three daughters. It can be considered a sequel, but it stands alone. It brings the reader from the US foreign student experience to Shanghai after WWII, the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution and finally to colonial Hong Kong and immigration to the US.

Kirkus review called the Concubine book: “An engaging family saga by a talented storyteller,” and Under the Red Moon, “An absorbing exploration of mid-20th century China through the story of a fractured family.” The author uses colloquialism, commonly used idiomatic expressions, relational addresses, popular philosophies and Chinese poems and songs to provide a genuine Chinese experience.

The talk will touch upon the cultural differences between the East and West and the background of the stories that make the Chinese behavior so incomprehensible to the Westerners, e.g. acting in service of “virtuous living.” Since China is so much in the news, the discussion in past presentations, had gone into whether China is now truly aggressive. The talk should provide a stimulating experience for all. Her website is :

The books will be sold at a discount from the listed price and 15% will be donated to the library.

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