Pan Yuliang has lived and taken care of her uncle, ever since her mother died when she was young. At fourteen years Pan Yuliang was sold to The Hall of Eternal Splendour to become a prostitute. Her uncle did it to play off some loans he had accrued for his habit of opium. After two years of working at The Halls of Eternal Splendour, Pan Yuliang was saved. A young man by the name of Pan Zanhua, who is an inspector. He is so fascinated by Pan that he offers to take her away from Eternal Splendour and make her his wife. For once Pan Yuliang sees Shanghai through a different light. Pan Zanhua recognizes Pan Yuliang interest and talent for painting. He encourages her to become a professional painter but is Pan Yuliang to free spirited for the school and will they even accept a woman.
The Painter from Shanghai is based on true events of Pan Yuliang life. I have to admit that I had never heard of Pan Yuliang. After reading The Painter from Shanghai, I found Pan Yuliang to be a very remarkable woman. She could find beauty in everything around her. This included even during the two years Yuliang was at The Halls of Eternal Splendour. Pan Zanhua was a good husband to Yuliang. He helped Pan Yuliang pursue her dreams no matter what people thought. For this fact Pan Yuliang was able to stand up for what she wanted to paint and not just what sold. I feel Jennifer Cody Epstein did Pan Yuliang justice in this creative masterpiece of a book titled The Painter from Shanghai.
Check out Jennifer's website http://www.jennifercodyepstein.com/Home.html
While you are there, view some of Pan Yuliang's paintings