Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng, Author Grove/Atlantic $24.95 (547p) ISBN 978-0-394-55548-5
This gripping account of a woman caught up in the maelstrom of China's Cultural Revolution begins quietly. In 1966, only the merest rumblings of political upheaval disturbed the gracious life of the author, widow of the manager of Shell Petroleum in China. As the rumblings fast became a cataclysm, Cheng found herself a target of the revolution: Red Guards looted her home, literally grinding underfoot her antique porcelain and jade treasures; and she was summarily imprisoned, falsely accused of espionage. Despite harsh privationeven tortureshe refused to confess and was kept in solitary confinement for over six years, suffering deteriorating health and mounting anxiety about the fate of her only child, Meiping. When the political climate softened, and she was released, Cheng learned that her fears were justified: Meiping had been beaten to death when she refused to denounce her mother. The candor and intimacy of this affecting memoir make it addictive reading. Its intelligence, passion and insight assure its place among the distinguished voices of our age proclaiming the ascendancy of the human spirit over tyranny. Cheng is now a U.S. resident. BOMC main selection; author tour. (June 1)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-00-654861-4
Paperback - 547 pages - 978-0-14-010870-5
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-0-246-12948-2
Hardcover - 978-0-8021-1205-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-2944-2
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