One written word is worth a thousand pieces of gold. In this poignant memoir, Adeline Yen Mah, a physician and author, provides a fascinating window into the history and cultural soul of China. Combining personal reflections, rich historical insights, and proverbs handed down to her by her grandfather, she shares the wealth of Chinese civilization with Western readers. Exploring the history behind the proverbs, Yen Mah delves into the lives of the first and second emperors and the two rebel warriors who changed the course of Chinese life. By adding stories from her own life she illustrates their relevance today. Paperback, photographs, bibliography, list of proverbs.
This is part of Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition curriculum. From our Guide by Brenda S. Cox:
In A Thousand Pieces of Gold, Adeline Yen Mah says, “A Chinese view of the world is highly dependent on the lessons learned from our forebears. Traditionally, this wisdom of the ages is often encapsulated in the form of four characters and is presented as a proverb.” She subtitles the book: “My Discovery of China’s Character in Its Proverbs.” Each chapter of the book is based on a proverb. She tells the historical story behind the proverb and explains its relevance to recent history and to her own life story. The story is rich with other proverbs which she also explains along the way. A list of all these proverbs, with their translations, is in the back of the book.