Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Life, Loss, and Hope in China

Karoline Kan. Hachette, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-41204-9
Kan, a Chinese millennial and former New York Times reporter based in Beijing, offers an intimate look at the lives of three generations of her close-knit family, from her grandmother, who survived the Great Famine of 1959–1961, on to her principled mother, who sacrificed much to defy both her in-laws’ wishes (by working as a teacher instead of helping with the family farm) and China’s one-child policy (conceiving Kan, her second child, by secretly removing the government-required intrauterine device). This tale vividly illustrates the breadth of the changes China has undergone in recent decades—abruptly switching from population-boosting initiatives in the 1960s to the one-child rule, and from prohibiting to allowing rural people to migrate to Beijing—and how those changes have affected individual lives. While Kan shares her mother’s independent spirit, researching the Tiananmen Square massacre and dating foreign men, the cultural forces she and her fellow millennials face are different. She describes many of them: the Chinese education system, the difficult lives of Chinese factory workers who produce goods for sale overseas, and the prejudice faced by rural workers in Beijing. Kan’s candidness about Chinese culture and her experience, always mediated by affection for her country, makes this an invaluable resource to Western readers interested in Chinese life. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/10/2019
Release date: 03/12/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-5491-9983-7
Ebook - 978-0-316-41203-2
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-316-41205-6
Ebook - 978-1-78738-245-9
Ebook - 978-1-78738-246-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7916-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-7918-1
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