'Beast' Of Burden: Anchee Min Says "It's So Hard To Be A Woman"


Anchee Min is a novelist, but that doesn’t really capture what she does as a woman. What she does is grab an audience, and hold them in the palm of her hand, as she demonstrated on Saturday.

Anchee Min is by turns vulnerable and triumphant, like every woman. During the Daily Beast‘s “Women in the World” summit, she read from a novel, discussed her concerns about having a daughter, charmed the crowd with her tales of learning English and American culture from Mr. Rogers and brought the house the hell down when she sang opera. Who needs to be a Renaissance woman when you can just emulate 21st century greatness?

First, she bares her soul and admits that, even for her, it was difficult to overcome the Chinese stigma of bearing a female child — and how damn proud she is of her daughter, Gloria.

And then, in a triumphal moment, she sings a Chinese opera of celebration (because, really, we won’t know if she’s off-key, not that a single woman cared).

Min’s ferocity and lack of fear led to the conference’s first standing ovation of the weekend, and it was well-deserved. She was the woman Tina Brown wants us to emulate, and rightly so.

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