Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien ChengIn August 1966 a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng. Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-Sheks regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Nien Cheng enjoyed comforts that few of her compatriots could afford. When she refused to confess that any of this made her an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years. Life and Death in Shanghai is the powerful story of Nien Chengs imprisonment, of the deprivation she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by the savage fight for power Mao Tse-tung launched in his campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, rare personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one womans courage.
Nien Cheng obituary
When she refused to confess that any of this made her an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years. Meer lezen Minder lezen. No customer reviews. Deel je gedachten met andere klanten. Klantenrecensie schrijven.
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My wife just alerted me to something I had missed in the paper today: news that Nien Cheng had died in Washington this week, at Life and Death in Shanghai , her memoir of her life in China in the pre-Communist era, and then her daughter's murder and her own imprisonment and torture by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, was one of the first notable accounts of those years and remains a powerful work of modern non-fiction. Although it has been two decades since I read it, many of the scenes are still vivid. Soon after it was published in , my wife and I were in Shanghai and traced the neighborhoods she had described. Nien Cheng never returned to mainland China after she got out in , and over the past twenty years she lived mainly in Washington DC.
Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. This gripping account of a woman caught up in the Life and Death in Shanghai - Kindle edition by Nien Cheng. It is very unlikely that would have discovered this book if not for a Chinese friend of.
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Life And Death In Shanghai
Several years before Jung Chang's Wild Swans proved a sensation in the west, the work of another Chinese woman who suffered badly during the Cultural Revolution's years of turbulence had become the first bestseller in English about this period. Life and Death in Shanghai is a memoir of huge sorrow and triumph by Nien Cheng, who has died aged 94; it could be read as symbolic of the story of modern China itself. She was born Yao Nien Yuan into a rich landowning family in Beijing and was studying at the London School of Economics in when she met her future husband, Kang-chi Cheng. A supporter of the Nationalists, on the couple's return to wartorn China in the s he joined the ministry of foreign affairs, and they lived in Australia briefly, setting up an embassy there. The foundation of the People's Republic of China in meant that Kang-chi's political affiliations were potentially a problem. But he was to die, of cancer, in , while serving as a general manager for Shell, one of the few foreign companies that maintained a presence in Mao's China. After his death, Nien took up the position of political adviser to Shell and lived with their daughter, Meiping, a successful actor, in a large house in Shanghai, with antique furniture, servants and a good standard of living.
A story that so vividly documents the triumph of the human spirit over inhumanity. Her background made her an obvious target. When she refused to confess that she was an enemy of the state, she was imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement, where she remained for more than six years. Her narrative deserves to rank with the foremost prison diaries of our time. The past is forever with me and I remember it all. My daughter was asleep in her bedroom, the servants had gone to their quarters, and I was alone in my study. I hear again the slow whirling of the ceiling fan overhead; I see the white carnations drooping in the heat in the white Qianlong vase on my desk.