Pavilion of Women [Pabellón de mujeres]

Pearl S. Buck | Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women’s Quarters

At forty, Madame Wu is beautiful and much respected as the wife of one of China’s oldest upper-class houses. Her birthday wish is to find a young concubine for her husband and to move to separate quarters, starting a new chapter of her life. When her wish is granted, she finds herself at leisure, no longer consumed by running a sixty-person household. Now she’s free to read books previously forbidden her, to learn English, and to discover her own mind. The family in the compound are shocked at the results, especially when she begins learning from a progressive, excommunicated Catholic priest.

In its depiction of life in the compound, Pavilion of Women includes some of Buck’s most enchanting writing about the seasons, daily rhythms, and customs of women in China. It is a delightful parable about the sexes, and of the profound and transformative effects of free thought.

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 Pabellón de mujeres

Al cumplir cuarenta años, Madame Wu, esposa de uno de los terratenientes más importantes y mejor considerados de China, decide poner fin a la vida sexual entre ambos. A pesar del revuelo que su decisión levanta, es capaz de mantener su postura con elegancia y determinación y busca una concubina para su marido. Sin embargo, este cambio de papeles alterará la vida de toda la casa… Sobre todo, la de la propia Madame Wu, que dedicará su tiempo libre a leer libros hasta ahora prohibidos y a escuchar las lecciones del Padre André, un sacerdote extranjero y de mente abierta, que le abrirá un nuevo mundo. A las puertas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, al igual que su país, Madame Wu deberá afrontar una dura encrucijada entre tradición, comunismo y pensamiento occidental.

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