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By Mingmei Yip

From the acclaimed writer of Peach Blossom Pavilion comes a lush and lyrical novel of East and West--and of 1 younger woman's look for her heart's precise calling. . .
When twenty-year-old Meng Ning announces that she desires to be a Buddhist nun, her mom is aghast. In her eyes, a nun's lifestyles capability in basic terms deprivation--"no freedom, no love, no meat." yet to Meng Ning, it ability the opportunity to manage her personal future, and to stay in an oasis of tune, artwork, and poetry faraway from her parents' unsatisfied union.

With an enigmatic nun referred to as Yi Kong, "Depending on Emptiness," as her mentor, Meng Ning spends the subsequent ten years learning in a foreign country, disdaining males, and getting ready to go into the nunnery. Then, a hearth breaks out at her Buddhist retreat, and Meng Ning is carried to protection by means of Michael Fuller, a tender American health care provider. The extraordinary actual touch stirs her interest. And as their tentative friendship grows intimate, Meng Ning realizes she needs to choose from the sensual and the non secular life.

From the austere great thing about China's Buddhist temples to the whirlwind of Manhattan's social elite, and the intense bustle of Paris and Hong Kong, here's a novel of pleasure and heartbreak--and of the mind-blowing paths that lead us the place we such a lot have to be.

Praise for Peach Blossom Pavilion

"Lovely and poignant. . .a novel of heartache, but additionally considered one of wish because the powerful heroine by no means supplies in." --Curled Up With a great Book

"Beautiful and evocative, genuine and heart-wrenching. . .insightful and memorable." --Romantic Times

"A infrequent peek into an unique tradition that's exciting, fascinating, and moving." –Shobhan Bantwal

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36 Merchant culture evolved within the context of elite attempts to adjust education to meet the diversified needs of people living in a changing society and economy while still retaining the basic structure of agrarian society. Although part of the elite response constrained the development of a realistic merchant culture, other aspects supported it. book Page 35 Thursday, October 25, 2001 11:43 AM t h e lat e i mp e r i a l wor l d 35 the growing complexity of social structure. d. 37 Indeed, changes propelled by economic expansion and development during the late Tang-Song and continuing through the late imperial period led to the development of a broader and less formal social and cultural orthodoxy separate from the official orthodoxy of the government and the conservative elite.

This notion set an important precedent for the authors of the merchant manuals. In addition to advocating a kind of equality among all people and seeking to adjust Confucian teachings to the needs of the subordinate classes, the Taizhou school also reached out to nonelite people by establishing private academies and sponsoring large public lectures and discussions. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nonelite people attended these events, and the teachings of this school spread widely. Perhaps because of this success, state authorities banned these teachings and dissolved the academies, after which the influence of the school waned.

Population growth was a much larger force than the government in merchant life and helped shape the culture of the mid-level merchant. Between 1700 and 1850, the population of China rose from approximately 150 million to roughly 430 million, for reasons that remain somewhat unclear. The introduction of New World food crops, such as the sweet and Irish potato, the peanut, and maize in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the long years of peace ushered in by the Manchus after 1683 undoubtedly contributed significantly to this great demographic change.

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