Books in Conversation lecture: Anchee Min, author of The Cooked Seed, in conversation with her daughter Lauryann Jiang

Photo by Naishi Min

In 1994, Anchee Min made her literary debut with a memoir of growing up in China during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. Red Azalea became an international bestseller and propelled her career as a successful, critically acclaimed author. Twenty years later in The Cooked Seed, Min returns to the story of her own life to give us the next chapter, an immigrant story that takes her from the shocking deprivations of her homeland to the sudden bounty of the promised land of America, without language, money or a clear path.

She teaches herself English by watching Sesame Street, keeps herself afloat working five jobs at once, lives in unheated rooms, suffers rape, collapses from exhaustion, marries poorly and divorces. But she also gives birth to her daughter, Lauryann Jiang, who will inspire her and finally root her in her new country. Min's eventual successes — her writing career, a daughter at Stanford, a second husband she loves — are remarkable, but it's her struggle throughout toward genuine selfhood that elevates this dramatic, classic immigrant story to something powerfully universal.

A book signing will follow program, with books provided by Brazos Bookstore.



Asia Society Texas Center
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004


$5 general admission; free for Asia Society members.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.