Chinese immigrant Anchee Min recounts her early days in America in "The Cooked Seed."
Chinese immigrant Anchee Min recounts her early days in America in "The Cooked Seed."
May 20

Best-Selling Alumna Pens New Memoir

On May 11 SAIC alumna Anchee Min (BFA 1988, MFA 1990) discussed her new memoir The Cooked Seed in an interview with Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Nance. In Red Azalea, her best-selling memoir from 1994, Min recounts her brutal upbringing during China’s cultural wars before immigrating to the United States. The Cooked Seed continues the author’s personal history, detailing the “alternately freighting and funny” story of the Mins’ new life in Chicago throughout the 1980s and 90s. In an interview with NPR on May 12, Min describes her decision to attend SAIC shortly after arriving in Chicago. "Nobody would take me without having me demonstrate English language efficiency — it's called a TOEFL test — and I didn't speak English. So Joan Chen suggested, do you have any talent, like art. And I grew up painting Mao murals, so I just submitted some of my artworks,” she says. “I mean, it's really rough, in China it's considered no good, but the Art Institute thought I had potential.”