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Red Sorrow

A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution

"Red Sorrow . . . reminds us that it is people who make history." —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, thirteen-year-old Nanchu watched as
Red Guards burst into her home and arrested her parents, who were tortured and jailed. Made an outcast, left to care for herself and her younger brother, she witnessed her native Shanghai fall prey to Mao's "red cyclone." She was eventually sent to a military-labor camp on the Sino-Soviet Border, where one million of her generation were relocated, and there suffered privation, unspeakable hardship, and abuse by party officials. Not until schools reopened was Nanchu able to escape the camp for a university, but there she discovered that the revolution in the classroom had not ended.

In this unforgettable memoir, Nanchu delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal not only of her own family's travails but of a society thrown into upheaval by the struggle for power at the highest levels of the state, scarring an entire generation. Red Sorrow is essential reading for anyone interested in China and the struggle for freedom and human dignity.

  • Publisher: Arcade (November 17, 2015)
  • Length: 300 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628725865

"A searing memoir in fluid, conversational prose [that] adds to the pool of personal testimonies of China's historical nightmare."—Publishers Weekly

"Provides a fresh perspective to the harrowing chronicles of these children of the Revolution . . . It would be hard to read [her] account without being moved." —Kirkus Reviews

"Heart-rending . . . will be of interest to those who ponder the human experience of suffering." —Library Journal

"A searing memoir in fluid, conversational prose [that] adds to the pool of personal testimonies of China's historical nightmare."—Publishers Weekly

"Provides a fresh perspective to the harrowing chronicles of these children of the Revolution . . . It would be hard to read [her] account without being moved." —Kirkus Reviews

"Heart-rending . . . will be of interest to those who ponder the human experience of suffering." —Library Journal