Copyright 2008

Mingmei Yip




Peach Blossom Pavilion



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Mingmei’s gift shop If you buy from my site, you will get an autographed copy with my Chinese seal. If you buy 2 or more copies (They make great gifts!), you can choose one of the following free gifts: an original print of Mingmei’s Chinese goddess painting or a CD of Mingmei‘s qin playing and singing.


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Peach Blossom Pavilion has been published in Romania! 


Only 7 weeks after its release, Peach Blossom Pavilion is already in its 4th printing!!!

Peach Blossom Pavilion is the story of the last courtesan, or geisha, in China. With great insight based on detailed research carried out in China, Mingmei has re-created the elegant, refined, intriguing Chinese courtesan culture. Her story has been described as ”Sweeping in scope and stunning in its evocation of China…Peach Blossom Pavilion is a remarkable novel with an unforgettable heroine at the heart of its powerful story….”

Chinese Geisha culture was the predecessor of its counterpart in Japan (see “Introducing the Chinese Courtesan/Geisha Culture”), so if you’ve read or seen Memoirs of a Geisha, you must read Peach Blossom Pavilion!

The Story:

Publisher’s Weekly

 “A courtesan’s vow to avenge her father’s execution and her mother’s banishment to a nunnery.”

Kensington Books

“In a sunny California apartment, a young woman and her finance arrive to record her great-grandmother’s  reminiscences. The story that unfolds of Precious Orchid’s life in China, where she rises from a childhood of shame to become one of  the most successful courtesans in the land, is unlike any they’ve heard before….

When Precious Orchid’s father is falsely accused of a crime and found guilty, he is executed, leaving his family a legacy of dishonor. Her mother is banished to a Buddhist nunnery and she is abandoned to the “care” of a relative in Shanghai.

At first, life at Peach Blossom Pavilion feels like a dream. Surrounded by exotic flowers, murmuring fountains, colorful fishponds, and jade-green bamboo groves, Precious Orchid sees herself thriving. She is schooled in music, literature, paining, calligraphy, and to her innocent surprise, the art of pleasuring men. For the beautiful Pavilion hides its darker purpose as an elite house of prostitution. And even as she commands the devotion of China’s most powerful man, Precious Orchid never gives up her determination to escape the Pavilion, be reunited with her long-lost mother, avenge her father’s death, and find true love. As the richest, most beautiful and celebrated Ming Ji or “prestigious courtesan” in all of China, she just might have her way even if it comes with a devastating price…”

Praise for Peach Blossom Pavilion:

Neal Chandler, director, Creative Writing Program of Cleveland State University:

“In the sure voice of Precious Orchid, Mingmei recounts thirteen tumultuous years of Chinese history: vicious politics, pristine piety and heartrending scandal, framed in the classical arts. She writes with a painter’s fastidious eye and the irresistible energy of grand storytelling. The pages just turn themselves.”

Max Byrd, Professor of English, University of California, Davis:

“I thought Peach Blossom Pavilion was beautifully written, wonderfully imagined—erotic, funny, bursting with life—a terrific novel!

Hannelore Hahn, Founder and Executive Director, International Women’s Writing Guild:

“Peach Blossom Pavilion, the story of the last geisha in China, is told with amazing insight as if the author had lived in the tumultuous China of a century ago. Through her beautiful, lucid prose, Mingmei brings modern Western readers into the mysterious world of the cultivated courtesan.

Chun Yu, author of Little Green:  Growing up during the Chinese Cultural Revolution:

“Peach Blossom Pavilion is a vivid account of the forgotten past.”

Why I wrote Peach Blossom Pavilion

I have been a performer and scholar of China’s most revered and oldest string instrument, the qin (seven stringed zither) for many years.  As I researched on this instrument, I found out that qin playing was not only a favorite pastime among the educated elite, including privileged, refined high-society ladies, but also for elegant courtesans. In fact, most courtesans were originally high-society ladies but who, due to the inscrutable paths of karma, ended up in prostitution houses.

Originally called Yiji, Chinese courtesans were the predecessors of their Japanese counterparts. (“Geisha” is the Japanese pronunciation of the same word in Chinese.) Since most people only know about the Japanese Geisha, especially through Arthur Goldsmith’s widely enjoyed novel, Memoir of a Geisha, I decided to write about the Chinese Geisha phenomenon, so that people in the West will learn about the original form of this fascinating, yet hauntingly sad, way of life.

Read Reviews

Read the prologue and the first chapter

                   Mingmei’s novel Peach Blossom Pavilion.                           In all major bookstores June 2008!                                 Kensington Books

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