"Terrific late nineteenth century historical tale"
In 1898 China, tantric sex teacher Shi Po has devoted her
life to the Taoist dictum of obtaining enlightenment and
immortality through ecstasy by strict control of the body
and mind. However, Shi is upset that two white heathen
students of hers seem to have gained what she strives to
achieve. Feeling she has brought shame by her failure and
danger to her family by sheltering a monk, Shi wants to
Shi's husband Tan Kui Yu believes that together they reach
Heaven, but separately never. When the duo is imprisoned,
Kui trusts that they can overcome adversity with one
another, but first they must accept the love they have for
another that is a major step towards reaching Heaven.
DESPERATE TIGRESS is a terrific late nineteenth century
historical tale that provides a deep look at Chinese
society through the changing relationship between the lead
couple and to a lesser degree the general who jails them.
The story line focuses on the interactions between a
humiliated Shi who believes she is a failure and has
shamed her family and Kui a kind gentle soul respecting
his wife. Though Jade Lee's tale can be read by itself,
reading the previous two related tales (see HUNGRY TIGRESS
and WHITE TIGRESS) first will give a more complete picture
of the society. Still this is a superb work.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted October 15, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 19, 2007
ON PLEASURE’S PATH
The final step was release. Shi Po had devoted her life to the Taoist ideal: enlightenment through ecstasy, through rigid control of the body and mind. The kiss, the caress, the bite, the scratch—these were the stairs to Immortality. Up, up, up one would climb, through yin rain and yang fire until… But Heaven had been denied her. Two barbarians, white women, had been granted everything; Joanna Crane and Lydia Smith had found Immortality. Shi Po, 19th-century Shanghai’s most famous teacher and abbess, its greatest Tigress, had not.
And so it was time to die.
Only one man stood in her way: Tan Kui Yu. His fingers, his lips, his dragon. He swore he and Shi Po would attain Heaven even if he had to pleasure her every day—and night—for the rest of their lives. He had other ideas as well; things that had never occurred to the woman who had done it all. Perhaps, he said, it was not just about making love, but about feeling it.