No Tears for Mao : Growing up in the Cultural Revolution


Another wonderful-horrible story emerges from behind the bamboo curtain to show just how inhumane and brutal Maos Cultural Revolution really was. As a toddler, Niu-Niu watched her house be destroyed, her parents--deemed criminals by the state--be dragged away and imprisoned, and her grandfather be beaten to death by the Red Guard. For eight years she lived with her grandmother, gathering trash, making matchbooks, and stealing to survive. She endured ostracism, humiliation, hunger, and extreme poverty all because of her parents alleged criminal activities. Now an actress and filmmaker in France, Niu-Niu tells her story in a childs voice, which makes the events seem even more powerful and immediate. She is not only an engaging storyteller with an almost unbelievable tale she also has a fine sense of pacing. She has written the book as a series of short chapters, a structure that makes it read effortlessly. Her account should take its place as one of the finer examples of the growing number of life-under-Mao testimonies