A few months ago, someone posted a comment or sent me an email and recommended the book Wild Swans. (I forget who it was and I'm too lazy to go back and see!) I got the book from the library and it has taken me two months to read it. It's a biggie - 500+ pages and not all that easy to read - textbookish at times - but DANG! What a moving book.
I knew next to nothing (ok, NOTHING) about Chinese history and this book covers three generations of women in a family from the turn of the 20th century until the 1970's. I am shocked and amazed after reading this book. I am terrible at describing books so here is a synopsis from the publisher:
A riveting tale of three generations spanning the end of Old China, Mao's regime and the Japanese occupation. Chang chronicles the enormous changes in China since 1929 through her family's story, one that includes arrest during the Cultural Revolution, exile to the Sichuan wilderness and the bewildering state of China today. It's quite a tale, wonderfully told without a trace of rancor or bitterness.
I urge you to hug your family and friends a little harder and more freqently this week. Give thanks when you open your refrigerator and see the food in it. And remember how very lucky we are that we are ALLOWED to complain about our bosses / community leaders / politicians without the fear of being tortured or executed. That Mao fella was one nasty dude.
So to the person who recommended this book to me... Thanks! It was an eye-opener and a book that will stay with me for a long, long time.