A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a cultural memoir as well as a personal account of China's past, illustrated by proverbs taken from a fascinating period of history when China was ruled by the First Emperor, Qin Shihuang (259–210 B.C.E.), the sovereign who united China, built the Great Wall, and standardized the Chinese language.New York Times bestselling author Adeline Yen Mah combines fascinating historical insights with personal stories from her own life to show the enduring relevance and influence of proverbs in Chinese life, even to the present day. Yen Mah recreates a lost world in which warlords, scholars, and courtiers plot and counter-plot to create some of the world's greatest dramas. Her unique perspective creates a window into the Chinese mind, enabling Western readers to better comprehend Chinese thought and culture, while being mesmerized by stories first told by the legendary historian Sima Qian, China's Herodotus. Combining probing historical analysis with stories of tremendous personal insight, A Thousand Pieces of Gold is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a singularly authentic portrait of Chinese culture.