Life and Death in ShanghaieBook - 2010
Life and Death in Shanghai, Nien Cheng's searing memoir of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, was an instant international best-seller on its original hardcover publication by Grove Press. This phenomenal, unforgettable book captured the attention of the world just as Communism was starting to collapse. The main summer selection of the Book of the Month Club, it was excerpted at considerable length (13, 000 words) in Time, and Cheng was invited to a state dinner at the White House, where she was seated next to President Ronald Reagan. More than twenty years after it was originally published, Cheng's memoir is considered a twentieth century classic, one of the most remarkable, enduring works on totalitarianism and personal endurance. In August 1966, a group of Red Guards ransacked Nien Cheng's home, threatened her and destroyed priceless, irreplaceable ancient Chinese relics. Cheng's background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated at the London School of Economics, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-shek's regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Cheng enjoyed comforts that few Chinese could afford. When she refused to confess to the false accusations that she was a spy, Cheng was placed in solitary confinement. Cheng suffered year upon year of bruatality and deprivation, but she refused to give in to her torturers and interrogators. After more than six years, when they told her would be released because of her "attitude of repentance," even then she remained defiant, vowing to remain in detention until the Communist officials declared her innocent and published an apology. Life and Death in Shanghai is Cheng's powerful story of her imprisonment, of the hardship and cruelty she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her insistent quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by Mao Zedong's savage fight for power. A penetrating personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one woman's courage.
Publisher: [United States] : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Branch Call Number: eBook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource
From Library Staff
This widely acclaimed memoir tells the story of the author's persecution and imprisonment as a wealthy Chinese woman during the Cultural Revolution.
From the critics