All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

The Ultimate China Bookshelf #46: Ma Bo’s Blood Red Sunset

Posted: March 28th, 2024 | No Comments »

#46 is up – A Memoir of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, published in 1995. Blood Red Sunset (translated by Howard Goldblatt) is the memoir of a former Red Guard, a Beijing boy who heads to Inner Mongolia to help the peasants in 1968. However, the Cultural Revolution he supports turns against him. He is arrested, tortured, jailed, and betrayed by his best friend and branded a counterrevolutionary before being sent into internal exile in Inner Mongolia during the last years of the Cultural Revolution. There are side plots about the author’s martial arts prowess and his infatuation with a girl. It’s fair to say that not everyone liked Blood Red Sunset. It divided opinion among readers with many finding it too personal, and too divorced from history.

The China Ultimate Bookshelf is now available fortnightly on Kaiser Kuo’s Sinica Substack….

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