Ancestors, 900 Years in the Life of a Chinese Family/Ch'in Shih Ch'ien Tsai Shih: Ch'in Shih Ch'ien Tsai Shih

Francis D. K. Ching, Author William Morrow & Company $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-04461-9
In Chinese tradition, to forget one's ancestors is contemptibleyet to trace them back to the 11th century, as the author has done, is quite a feat. Ching, who grew up in Hong Kong and is now an American citizen, began his quest in 1979, when he was the Wall Street Journal's Peking correspondent. Focusing on some 20 members of his family, prominent figures all, and with the aid of a 17-volume family record that survived the Cultural Revolution, Ching has produced what virtually amounts to a social and political history of China. Among the family members are a romantic poet, a military hero, an imperial ghost-writer, a minister of punishments and a woman noted for her skills in both poetry and the martial arts. And there's scarcely an aspect of Chinese life, from shamanism to bloody rebellion, that Ching doesn't touch upon in this engrossing narrative. Photos. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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