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Adeline Yen Mah

Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese Cinderella is an autobiography written by author Adeline Yen Mah which describes her experiences growing up in China during theSecond World War. It was published in 1999 and is a revised version of part of her autobiography, Falling Leaves. Born the fifth child to an affluent Chinese family Adeline’s life begins tragically. Adeline’s mother died shortly after her birth due to complications bought on by the delivery, and in Chinese culture this marks her as cursed or bad luck. This situation is compounded by her father’s new marriage to a lady who has little affection for her husband’s five children.

She displayed overt antagonism and distrust towards all of the children, particularly Adeline, whilst favoring her own younger son and daughter born soon after the marriage. The book outlines Adeline’s struggle to find a place where she feels she belongs. Denied love from her parents, she finds some solace in relationships with her grandfather Ye Ye, and her Aunt Baba, but they are taken from her. Adeline immerses herself in striving for academic achievement in the hope of winning favour, but also for its own rewards as she finds great pleasure in words and scholarly success. 1] Adeline progresses through various situations in life, from boarding school to studies abroad. This book also known as Falling Leaves and it has been used as reading material in Austarlian Matriculation in KBU,Bandar Utama,Kuala Lumpur. Adeline Yen Mah was born in Tianjin, China. She lived in Shanghai as a child and moved to Hong Kong at age eleven. At fourteen, she won a writing competition, which convinced her father to send her to study in England. She attended London Hospital Medical School, graduated as a physician and established a thriving medical practice in California.

She worked as an anesthesiologist at West Anaheim Community Hospital and became chief of anesthesia. Her first book Falling Leaves was published in 1997. It made the New York Times Bestseller list and sold over a million copies worldwide, being translated into twenty two languages. After the publication of Falling Leaves, Adeline gave up medicine to write full-time. Chinese Cinderella is her autobiography written for children and also sold over one million copies worldwide.

It received an award from the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California in 2000 for Compelling Autobiography and Lamplighter’s Award from National Christian School Association in June 2002 for Contribution to Exceptional Children’s Literature. Her third book Watching the Tree is a book of Chinese philosophy, published in 2001. Her fourth book, A Thousand Pieces of Gold, was published in October 2002. Adeline has written three other children’s books: Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society and Along the River are novels based on Chinese history.

China: Land of Dragons and Emperors is a Chinese history book written for teen-agers. Adeline is Founder and President of the Falling Leaves Foundation. The mission of her foundation is to promote understanding between East and West and to provide funds for the study of China’s history, language and culture. Toward this end, she has started the web-site to teach Chinese over the internet at no cost to the subscriber. Her foundation has also established a poetry prize at UCLA. Adeline is happily married to Professor Robert A. Mah. They have two children and live in California and London.