Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Binding Chair by Kathryn Harrison

I have read back through the two sets of Journal Entries and the website that was placed in one JE about foot binding, as I could really "visualize" the process from the description in the book, and for me that was crucial to understand the storyline.

Essentially, this is the story of Mae who is married to a silk merchant and is his fourth wife, she flees him to a life in a Shanghai brothel, which is preferable to her married life. In 1899 she meets and marries an Australian called Arthur. The time line does flit from past to present, which I found in part irritating,but nonetheless,I continued to read.The ending is both dramatic and unexpected.


  1. A year or two ago I read Wild Swans by Jung Chang who talked about foot binding. Her descriptions made me cry. I'm putting this one on my list because of what you said about the ending being dramatic and unexpected.

  2. I read Wild Swans some years ago for a bit of work I was doing for my history degree. It was a very powerful book and a recommended read.


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