Broken Portraits) recounts his tumultuous coming-of-age in China during and after WWII. This straightforward a"/>

THINGS THAT MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN: A Childhood in Wartime China

Michael David Kwan, Author THINGS THAT MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN: A Childhood in Wartime C $26 (248p) ISBN 978-1-56947-248-4

This powerful memoir by writer and translator Kwan (Broken Portraits) recounts his tumultuous coming-of-age in China during and after WWII. This straightforward and poetic work illuminates the contradictions of wartime as seen through the eyes of a child. Kwan is estranged from his Swiss mother as a young boy and goes from being raised by servants to the Englishwoman his father remarries. Although emotionally distant, Kwan's father, the wealthy administrator for China's railroads, was a model of honor to his family and country, and Kwan's story is as much about his father as it is about himself. After Japan invaded China, Kwan's father took a position in the pro-Japanese government in order to work for the Resistance covertly. As a half-caste, Kwan was tormented in school and, without friends, became a silent voyeur of the world around him. He took solace where he could find it, whether with his dog, Rex, in his tree house watching the neighbors, gardening with the owner of a local antique shop, catching crickets with his father's tenant farmer or through the rituals he performed as an altar boy. After WWII, there followed the battle between Communists and Nationalists, and, caught in the middle, Kwan's father was falsely accused and imprisoned for collaborating with the Japanese. Before Kwan was sent away to safety, his father repeated his guiding tenet: "As long as you are true to yourself, you can't be false to anyone else." This engaging story of family, loyalty, patriotism and war shows how unforeseen events change people—and how, in turn, they can reshape those events to survive and retain their imprint. (May 10)

Reviewed on: 04/09/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-55199-049-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-55199-069-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-56947-282-8
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-1-84018-430-3
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