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Random House Speakers

China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation

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Published by Vintage Digital, part of Vintage Publishing

  • Epub

Format: ebook

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Details

EAN: 9781409088431
Published: 7 May 2011

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About the book

Synopsis

China Witness is the personal testimony of a generation whose stories have not yet been told. Here the grandparents and great-grandparents of today sum up in their own words - for the first and perhaps the last time - the vast changes that have overtaken China's people over a century. The book is at once a journey by the author through time and place, and a memorial to those who have lived through war and civil war, persecution, invasion, revolution, famine, modernization, Westernization - and have survived into the 21st century. We meet everyday heroes, now in their seventies, eighties and nineties, from across this vast country - a herb woman at a market, retired teachers, a legendary 'double-gun woman', Red Guards, oil pioneers, an acrobat, a female general, a lantern maker, taxi drivers, and more- those whose voices, as Xinran says, 'will help our future understand our past'.

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What the critics say

Right here we see the red lines that many Chinese still draw for themselves in public discourse, or even privately, the boundaries they dare not cross even today. No other style of storytelling could have exhibited them with more clarity or greater rawness
- The Times

An incredibly moving and ambitious collection... There is a great deal of light in this powerful book
- Independent

Another excellent book...ambitious
- Literary Review

These stories are often heart-rending, but are recounted in a very self-effacing way by the subjects themselves... [The book] is deeply engaging and focuses almost exclusively on issues and experiences rarely discussed in China or elsewhere. It takes people to places they would not otherwise have been able to go: into the minds of previously silent witnesses... a stunning insight into its [China's] people
- Herald

If you loved Jung Chang's Wild Swans you'll love this book
- Image magazine

This extraordinary book tells the story of 20th-century China through the voices of ordinary people... The lives of these everyday heroes make gripping reading
- The Gloss (Ireland)

An engaging and affecting book
- Economist

Extraordinary
- The Independent

Remarkable... This book showcases Xinran's rare talent for getting ordinary Chinese to open up... China Witness says as much about contemporary China as it does about the recent past
- Financial Times

About the Author

Born in Beijing in 1958, Xinran was a journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London, where she wrote her bestselling book The Good Women of China. Since then she has written a regular column for the Guardian, appeared frequently on radio and TV and published Sky Burial, What the Chinese Don't Eat, a novel (Miss Chopsticks), and Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother. Her charity, The Mothers' Bridge of Love, was founded to help disadvantaged Chinese children and to build a bridge of understanding between the West and China.

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