Thursday, June 14, 2007

Surviving Under Mao: A Slacker’s Guide

This book looks good. I might read it in a year or so.. when I'm not tired of China anymore.

From the New York Times;
Like a character in a picaresque novel, Mr. Kang stumbles from one misadventure to the next, his big mouth and relaxed habits ensuring disaster at every turn. City, country, prison—he covers it all. The confessions pile up, his dossier swells, and even China begins to look too small to accommodate him. All he wants, really, is a quiet place to curl up and read a book, and a few notebooks to write in. The party won’t allow it.

Mr. Kang serves as an extraordinary guide through an extraordinary period of Chinese history. He lives through the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the thaw following Mao’s death, the growing democracy movement of the 1980s and the crackdown after the protests in Tiananmen Square.

The great events are expressed in personal terms, and they are colored by Mr. Kang’s unusual sensibility. He suffers, but he sees himself more often than not as a comic figure, and the repressive machinery of the Chinese state as a tangle of absurdities.

the rest of the review can be found here:
Confessions - Kang Zhengguo - Books - Review - New York Times

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