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

#47 The Sinica Ultimate China Bookshelf – Kang Zhengguo’s Confessions (2007)

Posted: April 8th, 2024 | No Comments »

An intimate memoir (translated by Susan Wilf) of everyday life and Communist power from the first days following the establishment of the PRC in 1949 through the Tiananmen Square protests and after. Kang Zhengguo, born into a professional family, grows up a free spirit finding himself drawn to literature. But in Mao’s China, his background and interests are enough to condemn him at a young age to a fierce struggle session, expulsion from university, and a four-year term of hard labor in Xian’s Number Two Brickyard. Kang then catalogs his extended internment in the Maoist prison camp system. At twenty-eight he is adopted by an aging bachelor in a peasant village, which enables him to start a new life. Rehabilitated after Mao’s death, Kang finds himself still subject to the recurring nightmare of Party authority.

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