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Mulan and Emmajin, alike but different

Several reviewers have noted the similarities between my character, Emmajin, and Mulan, the legendary Chinese heroine who was themulan

subject of a Disney animated film in 1998. Both were young Asian women who defied tradition by joining the army.

Was Emmajin inspired by Mulan?  She might have been.  No one knows if Hua Mulan was real or not, but her story was first

written as a ballad in the 6th century, well before Emmajin’s time, in the 13th century. So Emmajin might have heard of her.

If you liked Disney's charming, fun movie, Mulan, you should definitely enjoy reading Daughter of Xanadu!

But Emmajin is very different from Mulan.

Read more: Mulan and Emmajin, alike but different

100 days to go, new Facebook page

100 days to go!

That's right. Just 100 days to go before the big day: January 11, 2011.  That's the publication date for DAUGHTER OF XANADU.

I didn't pick this pub date, but I love it because it's memorable: 1-11-11.

I'm committing to updating this blog every day* between now and then, with news. Yikes! Did I just promise that?  Hold me to it, okay?

Today's news: a new Facebook page: Dori Jones Yang, Author.

top half of cover

Yes, I had an author page before. But a friend pointed out to me that my old author page was a personal page, and everyone who 'friended' me also had to share with me their personal photos and comments. This new author page is a 'business' page. Instead of friending me, all you have to do is click on 'like.' That way you can make the decision yourself, and you can get updates about my book without revealing all your personal stuff. I hope you like that better.

I poured my heart into DAUGHTER OF XANADU. I read a ton of books, traveled to Mongolia and the Silk Road, and spent years learning the craft of fiction.The main character, Emmajin, seems like my close friend. So I really hope lots of people will enjoy reading this book.

I also have many stories to tell about how I came to write it and cool things I learned while researching it.

For the inside scoop, watch this space!

* About a week after promising this, I was told that two to three times a week is ideal; that every day is too frequent.  So I switched to that. So much for commitment!

- October 3, 2010 -

Welcome to my blog about DoX

Welcome to my blog about Daughter of Xanadu!

This exciting book will be published on Jan. 11, 2011 by Random House/Delacorte Press.

I’m confident you will enjoy reading about Emmajin. The eldest granddaughter of the Khubilai Khan, she was determined to do what no woman had done before: to become a warrior in the army of the Mongol Empire. That, she knew, was the only way to achieve respect in a man’s world. The last thing she wanted was the distraction of a charming foreign man:  Marco Polo.

Daughter of Xanadu will appeal to readers who like plunging into historical fiction, enjoy romance and action, admire strong women, are open to learning about China and Marco Polo, and get a kick out of seeing history from a female perspective.

As a writer and person, I believe strongly that

•  it’s important to build bridges and increase understanding between cultures, particularly between East and West;
•  cross-cultural love affairs can help break down barriers, if both parties admire the other’s original culture;
•  women can be strong and capable even in a male-dominated world;
•  history looks different when told from another person’s perspective;
•  making peace is harder than making war, but worth the effort.

You might like Daughter of Xanadu if you like:

•  Lisa See’s intriguing Chinese female characters
•  Amy Tan’s delightful approach to cross-cultural differences and family relationships
•  Memoirs of a Geisha’s insider’s look at an exotic culture
•  Philippa Gregory’s perspective on history through the minds of captivating women
•  Mists of Avalon and The Red Tent, which turned familiar stories upside down by viewing them through a woman’s eyes
•  Conn Iggulden’s fascination with the Mongols of Genghis Khan’s era

Or if you enjoy:

•  Tamora Pierce’s spellbinding stories of strong girls and warrior maidens in her fantasy world of Tortall
Stephenie Meyer’s obsession with forbidden love
Rick Riordan’s refreshing take on gods and monsters and battles
Lensey Namioka’s lively, appealing Chinese characters
J.K. Rowling’s life-and-death dilemmas in a richly imagined world

I look forward to hearing your reaction to Daughter of Xanadu!  Once you’ve read it, please let me know what you think.

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