Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"Lost in The Crowd: A Cultural Revolution Memoir", Yang Jiang

June 21st, 2009 · No Comments · Chinese, History

Synopsis: Memoirs of the experiences of Beijing literature scholar and her husband during the Cultural Revolution.

My Take: While I have a strong aversion to “suffering Chinese women literature” (eg “Wild Swans”, “Good Women of China”, “Mao’s Concubine” etc etc – I get it ok, women suffered in China, but so did lots of other people and they don’t have their own cottage industry) and this book was written by an oppressed Chinese woman, I took a punt on this book because it didn’t look like it was aimed at the sisterhood.

I’m glad I did.

Lost in the Crowd is an amazingly restrained and detailed account of the author’s time in cadre schools and re-education labour camps during the Cultural Revolution. A prestigious professor of foreign literature before the revolution (ironically, translating Don Quixote into Chinese), Jiang was labeled a “Cow Monster” and was consigned to being a toilet cleaner before being moved to a rural labor and re-education camp.

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