Falling Leaves: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter (Hardcover)

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"Riveting. A marvel of memory. Poignant proof of the human will to endure." --Amy Tan.

"Brilliant, compelling, and unforgettable. A heart-rending modern day Cinderella story set against the turbulence of 20th century China. Autobiography at its best." --Nien Chang, author of "Life and Death in Shanghai."

"Charged with emotion...A vivid portrait of the human capacity for meanness, malice--and love." --Jung Chang, author of "Wild Swans."

"Fascinating and heart-rending stuff...a harrowing story of emotional cruelty." --"The Times of London"

International bestseller.

The emotionally wrenching yet ultimately uplifting memoir of a Chinese woman struggling to win the love and acceptance of her family.

In this compelling memoir that scaled bestseller lists in England, Australia, and Hong Kong, Adeline Yen Mah chronicles her painful childhood growing up in a wealthy yet abusive Chinese family. The unwanted daughter scorned by her family, young Adeline dreamed of freedom and independence, ultimately escaping to the West to launch a successful career in medicine.

When Adeline's mother died giving birth to her, she was deemed bad luck and ostracized by her family. Then her father took a beautiful Eurasian bride and Adeline soon fell victim to the wrath of her stepmother. Treated as a pariah, she was shuttled off to boarding schools, bullied by her siblings, and deprived of the beautiful clothes and things given to the rest of the family.

Moving from Shanghai and Hong Kong to London and the United States, "Falling Leaves" is an enthralling saga of a prosperous Chinese family set against a background of changing political times and the collision of East and West. Written in haunting prose, it evokes all the suspense and emotional force of a satisfying novel.

About the Author


Adeline Yen Mah is the author of Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter, an ALA Best Book for Young Readers and a Publishers Weekly Best Book. Her other books include the New York Times best-seller Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter; A Thousand Pieces of Gold: A Memoir of China's Past Through Its Proverbs; and Watching the Tree: A Chinese Daughter Reflects on Happiness, Traditions, and Spiritual Wisdom. Millions of readers worldwide celebrate the way Ms. Mah conveys the power of the human spirit in her writings.

Ms. Yen Mah was born in Tianjin, China. When she won a writing competition at the age of fourteen, she convinced her father to send her to school in England, where she later received a medical degree. Following the success of falling leaves, she has pursued her lifelong dream of being a fulltime writer.

Adeline Yen Mah lives in California and England with her husband. If you wish to review this book or contact the author, visit her online at



Adeline Yen Mah is a physician and the author of Watching the Tree, Chinese Cinderella, and the international bestseller Falling Leaves. Dr. Mah is married and has two children. She divides her time between Huntington Beach, California and London, England.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780471247425
ISBN-10: 0471247421
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Publication Date: February 18th, 1998
Pages: 304
Language: English