Anchee Min

Anchee Min
Born (1957-01-14) January 14, 1957
Shanghai, China
Citizenship American
Alma mater School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Occupation Author
Spouse(s) Lloyd Lofthouse
Children Lauryann Jiang
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Min.

Anchee Min or Min Anqi (Chinese: 閔安琪; pinyin: Mǐn Ānqí; born January 14, 1957 in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese-American author who lives in San Francisco and Shanghai. Min has published two memoirs, Red Azalea and The Cooked Seed: A Memoir, and six historical novels. Her fiction emphasizes strong female characters, such as Jiang Qing, the wife of chairman Mao Zedong, and Empress Dowager Cixi, the last ruling empress of China.


Min was born in Shanghai on January 14, 1957. Her parents were both teachers.[1] She was nine years old when the Cultural Revolution began.[2] As a child, she was a member of the Little Red Guards and was made to report her favourite teacher, who was an anti-Maoist, to the authorities.[2]

When Min was 17, she was sent to a collective farm[3] near the East China Sea, where she endured horrific conditions and worked 18-hour days.[2] Eventually, she suffered a spinal cord injury.[2]

At the collective farm, Min was discovered by a team of talent scouts from the Shanghai Film Studio and was selected to become an actress for her ideal "proletarian good looks."[4] She eventually won the lead role in a propaganda film inspired by Madame Mao.[4] However, the film was never completed.[4] After Mao Zedong's death and the subsequent fall of Jiang Qing,[4] Min was ostracized and treated badly. She was depressed and considered suicide.[4] With the assistance of her friend, American actress Joan Chen, and the sponsorship of her aunt living in Singapore, Min obtained a passport and applied to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.[4] She then immigrated to the United States.

After moving to the US, Min worked five jobs at the same time[2][5] and learned English by watching Sesame Street.[2][6]

She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Fine Arts.[7]

She is married to author Lloyd Lofthouse.[8] She has a daughter named Lauryann Jiang who attends Stanford University.[9]





  1. McAlpin, Heller (2013-05-09). "'The Cooked Seed' details Anchee Min's fraught immigrant saga". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Anchee Min: 'If I had stayed in China, I would be dead'". Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  3. McAlpin, Heller (2013-05-09). "'The Cooked Seed' details Anchee Min's fraught immigrant saga". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Scott, A. O. (2000-06-18). "The Re-education of Anchee Min". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  5. "An Evening with Anchee Min - National Writers Series". National Writers Series. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  6. "A 'Cooked Seed' Sprouts After All, In America". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  7. "Anchee Min". Voices from the Gaps. University of Minnesota. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  9. "Overcoming Odds, Author's Success & Daughter's Talents Forged 'Self Worth'". Asia Society. Retrieved 2016-04-10.

External links

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