Golden Lotus by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng

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Golden Lotus tells the story of Ximen Qing, a wealthy, unscrupulous merchant who takes the beautiful and ambitious widow Pan Jinlian as his fifth wife. Jinlian is not content to accept her position and schemes to dominate her husband and improve her standing in society by using sex as her weapon.

As the story unfolds, Ximen Qing embarks on a series sexual conquests and Pan Jinlian exploits her husband's lust, ultimately causing the downfall of the entire family. The story's dramatic climax vividly portrays the lengths to which ambitious people will go to gain influence. It also lays bare the rivalries within wealthy families of privilege while chronicling their rise and fall.

Iconic in China, Golden Lotus has been alternately banned and lauded for centuries, all the while still avidly read as a popular page-turner. This new Tuttle edition, now available in a single unabridged volume, includes a superb introduction by Robert Hegel of Washington University, who explains the book's importance as the first novel in the Chinese tradition attributable to a single author.