Chinese Cinderella

A fascinating and moving autobiographical novel


When Adeline Yen Mah’s mother dies giving birth to her, the family rejects Adeline.  In this vivid autobiography, the author describes her, life, struggles and how she comes to be accepted by her family at the time of the Cultural Revolution in China.

What are the themes?

Different cultures, families/generations, friendship, school life and the individual vs society.

Teaching points

Excellent for multicultural work, as it is set against a background of life in Japanese occupied China.  Ideal for exploring narrative structure as it is told simply as a series of snapshots.  Comparative work opportunities as it includes the original story of Cinderella that originated in the Tang dynasty (AD 618-908).

Part of 11–14 Collections

Product details

Production date:September 2004