The author of the international bestsellers 'Watching The Tree' and 'Falling Leaves' has always been fascinated by proverbs and their importance and use in China.
The majority of Chinese proverbs derive from the 1st century, when the First King of all China established his leadership over the whole country and its warring fiefdoms. In ancient China, a scholar's conversation would be studded with appropriate sayings, and a man's status in society would be defined by his use and knowledge of proverbs. In modern China, much of this is still true, and proverbs are used constantly.
Adeline Yen Mah introduces us to the rich picture of the first century BC when, after long wars between states, China was finally united and the richness of its literature and art could flourish. She portrays the leaders, the plots and the counter-revolutions with great vividness and liveliness so that even those ignorant of Chinese history become absorbed. And as in all her other books, she relates the historical episodes and the proverbs derived from these to experiences in her own life.
One of the major expressions of this age was of course the First King's tomb with its terracotta soldiers, of horses and carriages and the stones of the building. The re-finding of this monument - now open to us all - and Adeline Yen Mah's own experiences there, are extraordinary.