Opium Tea

Bianca Tam, Author, Richard L. Weaver, Editor, Ron Baron, Editor Tale Weaver Pub. $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-942139-02-0
In 1938 Tam, the 18-year-old daughter of an Italian noble family, married a Chinese student who was at school in her country, and moved with him to his homeland when he graduated. There he became an officer in the army of Chiang Kai-shekper Web , which had been fighting the Japanese for almost a decade. Tam left her husband when she discovered he had a mistress, and went to the Japanese-occupied areas of China, living principally in Canton and Shanghai. She became a spy for the occupying army, participating in opium parties that usually turned into orgies; she rationalized her activities as necessary to support her children. At war's end, she was convicted of spying, but her death sentence was commuted by Chiang. She returned to Italy, then worked for the rising fashion house of Dior in Paris and finally opened her own boutique in Rome. This memoir of a woman with an amazing ability to survive by manipulating men is self-indulgent, posturing and full of tedious braggadocio. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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