Children of China

Ann Ping Chin, Author
Ann Ping Chin, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-394-57116-4
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Judging from these group interviews conducted by the author in 1979 and 1984, children in the People's Republic of China exhibit buoyant spirits, stubbornness, a penchant for pranks, curiositymuch like kids everywhere. The young interviewees also seem articulate, disciplined, sensitive and take learning very seriously. Ann-ping Chin, a Chinese-American who teaches religion at Wesleyan, frames the interview transcripts with an introductory essay discussing Confucian concepts of family, duty and self, and in a closing chapter profiles her subjects, who range in age from seven to late teens. There are many illuminating moments. A boy, Fang Kan, 16, notes that ``feudal ideas are still going strong'' and bemoans the godlike heroes in Chinese novels. ``We never disagree with our teachers,'' reports a 15-year-old girl. In one section, a group of students debates the Cultural Revolution with a degree of sophistication and independent-mindedness one would expect of adults. (September)
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