Books by Ruthanne Lum McCunn

The Moon Pearl

"Best of the Best" from American University Presses
American Library Association, 2002
All School Read, Mercy High School, 2008


"Recounted with the artful simplicity of a folktale... McCunn's vivid, intimate portrait of early women's liberation in China is, above all, a good story, lovingly told."
Publisher's Weekly, August 7, 2000
"What is most impressive about this novel is the touching insight into these gentle, strong young women who peacefully, yet powerfully, created an alternate lifestyle in an otherwise inflexible culture. An excellent piece of historical fiction about a time and culture little known in the West, this story also celebrates the individuality of anyone who reaches beyond the ordinary for the moon pearl in the sky."
School Library Journal, June 2001
"THE MOON PEARL relates another tale of desire, of reaching for something that, in the time and place of the story, seems as impossible to grasp as the icy moon female independence. McCunn's novel bewitches through its delicate imagery and its reliance upon actual events that took place in the Sun Duk district of 1830s China's Pearl River Delta.... The bravery of the (heroines), their willingness to help other women in the village as well as their families (who have disowned them) and their persistence in maintaining their physical, economic and spiritual independence are utterly inspiring and captivating."
Washington Post Book World, December 10, 2000
"This story of success against the odds is full of wisdom for the ages."
San Jose Mercury, October 29, 2000
"(I)nspirational and eye-opening."
Seventeen, December 2000
"McCunn's beautifully crafted novel brings a new chapter to Chinese womanhood and the inspirational fight for economic and personal freedom."
Honey, November 2000
"If you want an easily digestible slice of another world that'll nourish you as you walk through these tough times, THE MOON PEARL is a very good choice."
Bust Magazine, Winter 2000

"Ruthanne Lum McCunn' s new novel The Moon Pearl is filled with the heart and songs of old China. Wonderfully researched, it is the vivid and courageous tale of three Chinese girls, who struggle against all odds to forge the beginnings of a powerful silk sisterhood in nineteenth century China. It is a lovely addition to the growing stories of women who have found the strength to discover new lives."
Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Language of Threads
"Ruthanne Lum McCunn is a gifted storyteller who guides us expertly across the rugged divides of cultures and times. This page-turning historical reconstruction actively counters prevailing stereotypes while revealing deeper, untold human truths about desires, family, love, tenacity, and early 'feminists.' "
John Kuo Wei Tchen, New York University
author of New York before Chinatown:
Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882
"A creative and carefully crafted story. We will probably never know how women in the silk districts of South China first became sworn spinsters who earned their own living. Combining historical detail with narrative suspense, Ruthanne Lum McCunn helps us imagine how it might have been."
Gail Hershatter, Professor of History, University of California

Current U.S. Publisher:
Beacon Press, Hardcover, September 2000
5-1/2" x 8-1/4", 336 pages, 0-8070-8348-8, $24.00
Beacon Press, Paperback, September 2001
5-3/8" x 8", 316 pages, 0-8070-8349-6, $14.00