Rules for Virgins by Amy Tan


OK, I have to get this out of the way first: I DIDN’T KNOW THAT AMY TAN WROTE “SAGWA: THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT”! I LOVED THAT SHOW! ^_^ OK, now that that’s taken care of.

Rules for Virgins is the first piece from Amy Tan in quite six years. A short story at only 43 pages, Rules of Virgins is narrated by experienced courtesan Magic Gourd, ass he instructs her virginal student Violet in the ways of a 1912 Shanghai courtesan and the magical, complicated world she is coming to inhabit. Magic Gourd’s instructions are full of color, guileful descriptions, and tragic memories of her own time as a courtesan.

The descriptions of the clothing, scenery, stories, and behaviors are of the same quality and beauty that I have come to expect from Amy Tan, and this story was just like a drink of cool water on a hot day — extremely refreshing, though short it may be. Thank you, Amy, for another beautiful few moments.

I will note that I would not recommend this book to readers younger than high school, as some of the innuendo is quite blatantly sexual.

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