Mahoney spent a year in China teaching English at Hangzhou University, one year prior to the massacre at Tiananmen Square. She found her students earnest, polite, fatalistic, resigned to their dependency on parents and the state. Many were sharply critical of their government, but feared the consequences of outspokenness or protest. While teaching a class on the collapse of the Third Reich, her students unanimously chimed, ``Hitler was a great man.'' She visited a women's prison where inmates, having committed ``acts harmful to marriage and family'' (presumably premarital sex), were ``re-educated.'' Everywhere she went she found tremendous poverty and backwardness, people suffocating under rules and regulations. With novelistic gifts and an eye for the telling detail, she captures the texture of daily life in a memorable odyssey. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990 Release date: 09/01/1990 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.