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A Hundred Flowers Audiobook

Publisher List Price: 19.99 USD

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Written by Gail Tsukiyama

Narrated by Jane Carr

Published on August 7, 2012

Audio is 1171 hours and 40 minutes

About A Hundred Flowers:

Gail Tsukiyama’s A Hundred Flowers is powerful novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying’s husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.”

A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.

As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husband’s absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

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Gail Tsukiyama is the bestselling author of six previous novels, including The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden, as well as the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. She lives in El Cerrito, California.

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1. Wei and Sheng have different philosophies of life as evidenced by their statements on page 17. Wei says to “look for the quiet within the storm” while Shen states to walk “straight into the storm.” As the plot unfolds do you feel that these early declarations are true to each man’s character?

2. On page 83 Kai Yeng remembers Sheng telling her that worrying about the worst things that could happen in life takes the same amount of energy as hoping for the best. Do you agree? What examples of hope do you find in the book? Do you feel that Sheng had hope? Kai Yeng?

3. Why is the character of Suyin necessary to the plot? What different roles does she play for the other members of the household?

4. Do you agree with Wei’s observation (page 239) that China “could easily have caught up with the rest of the world if she weren’t always being dragged backward”?

5. In the end the Kapok tree heals itself. Do you feel that the relationship between Wei and Sheng was healed? Are they truly “more alike than either of us knew” (page 281)? How might this also be true for others in the book? Explain.

6. The Kapok tree is almost a character unto itself in this book. Explain its significance to one or more characters.

7. What role do you think Tian plays in the book? If Tian was not on the train, do you think Wei would have been successful? After Tian leaves Wei and the story, speculate what happens to Tian. Do you think he gets involved with the Lee family afterwards?

8. At first Tao seems to resent having Suyin living with his family. What happens that changes his feelings to her? Compare this to Tao’s forgiveness of his school friend Little Shan.

9. Compare and contrast the marriages in the book.
10. Although this concentrates on a difficult time period in Chinese history, how do each of the characters embody a sense of hope for the future?
11. What do you think will happen with Sheng? Why?
12. Was grandfather Wei wrong to write to “The Party” when he knew it might endanger the family?

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A powerful new novel about an ordinary family facing extraordinary times at the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
China, 1957. Chairman Mao has declared a new openness in society: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals fear it is only a trick, and Kai Ying’s husband, Sheng, a teacher, has promised not to jeopardize their safety or that of their young son, Tao. But one July morning, just before his sixth birthday, Tao watches helplessly as Sheng is dragged away for writing a letter criticizing the Communist Party and sent to a labor camp for “reeducation.”
A year later, still missing his father desperately, Tao climbs to the top of the hundred-year-old kapok tree in front of their home, wanting to see the mountain peaks in the distance. But Tao slips and tumbles thirty feet to the courtyard below, badly breaking his leg.
As Kai Ying struggles to hold her small family together in the face of this shattering reminder of her husband’s absence, other members of the household must face their own guilty secrets and strive to find peace in a world where the old sense of order is falling. Once again, Tsukiyama brings us a powerfully moving story of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with grace and courage.

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“Tsukiyama’s tale of love, loss, and courage is brought to life by Simon Vance. Narrating in a soft, straightforward tone, Vance is understated but renders the characters well. With only minor shifts in tone and dialect, Vance creates well-rounded and believable characters without even remotely attempting to tackle a Chinese accent. The result is brilliantly realized listening that will have listeners enthralled from start to finish.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The point of view alternates among three generations of individuals, and Vance meets the challenge by adjusting his pitch and tone to telegraph each change. The character-driven novel is enhanced by Vance’s insightful pacing and restrained use of drama.” —AudioFile Magazine

“This brilliant portrayal of a family torn half apart and mending like the kapok tree that Tao falls from is brought to life by the familiar voice of Simon Vance…He brings Sheng’s family to life with his warm and inviting voice. Tsukiyama’s story and Vance’s voice make for a delightful journey into the early years of Communist China, when the promise of a better China never seemed so bleak.” —New World Review

“I was following this family almost as though it were my own and stayed all the way to the end of their story.” —All Things Considered, NPR

“The tenderness [Tsukiyama] shows for her characters creates a sympathetic portrait of intellectuals trying to live honestly in the shadow of oppression.” —Publishers Weekly

“Tsukiyama’s close attention to detail and descriptive language paint a vivid picture of the daily life of Kai Ying and her family. Tsukiyama gently envelops the reader into the quiet sadness that permeates the entire household while weaving in the multiple hardships the family faces under communism. Strength of community; support and love of family, both natural and adopted; and the ability to heal and overcome loss are major themes within the moving novel.” —Booklist

“Best-selling author Gail Tsukiyama, recipient of PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, takes us back to those times not by painting a panorama but in her thoughtful and forthright way by showing the consequences for one family.” —Library Journal

A Hundred Flowers was published on August 7, 2012.

The A Hundred Flowers Audiobook is 1171 hours and 40 minutes. Speechify has the Unabridged edition version of the audiobook.

Both the publication language and the narration language are in English.

Speechify, the World's Audiobook App

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20M+ downloads | 150K+ 5-stars reviews
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Subjects in A Hundred Flowers

A Hundred Flowers includes the following subjects: audiobooks, audio books, books on tape, chinese historical fiction, 1950s china, family saga, intergenerational family stories, drama, communist labor camp, reeducation camp, single mother, chinese cultural revolution, political prisoner, asian american writers, bestselling authors, multiple points of view, 100 flowers campaign, page-turner, heartbreaking, audiobook, audio book. The BISAC Subject Code is Fiction, Historical.

About the Author(s) of A Hundred Flowers

The author of A Hundred Flowers is Gail Tsukiyama.

About the Narrator of A Hundred Flowers Audiobook

The narrator for the A Hundred Flowers Audiobook is Jane Carr.

A Hundred Flowers Audiobook Additional Info

The imprint is Macmillan Audio. It is supplied by MPS. The ISBN-10 is 1427222487. The ISBN-13 is 9781427222480.

Global Availability of A Hundred Flowers Audiobook

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