Synopses & Reviews
This gripping and poignant memoir (New YorkTimes Book Review) draws usinto theintersections of everyday life and Communistpower from the first days ofLiberation in1949 through the post-Mao era. The son of aprofessional family, Kang Zhengguo is a freespirit, drawn to literature. InMao's China, these innocuouscircumstances expose him at age twenty to a fierce struggle session, expulsionfrom university, and a four-yearterm of hardlabor. So begins his long stay in theprison-camp system. He finally escapes theChinese gulag by forfeiting hisidentity: at agetwenty-eight heis adopted by an aging bachelorin a peasant village, which enables him to starta new life.
This "gripping and poignant memoir" () draws us into the intersections of everyday life and Communist power from the first days of "Liberation" in 1949 through the post-Mao era. The son of a professional family, Kang Zhengguo is a free spirit, drawn to literature. In Mao's China, these innocuous circumstances expose him at age twenty to a fierce struggle session, expulsion from university, and a four-year term of hard labor. So begins his long stay in the prison-camp system. He finally escapes the Chinese gulag by forfeiting his identity: at age twenty-eight he is adopted by an aging bachelor in a peasant village, which enables him to start a new life.
"A mesmerizing read.... A literary work of high distinction." --William Grimes,
"A mesmerizing read.... A literary workof highdistinction." -WilliamGrimes, New York Times
About the Author
Kang Zhengguo is senior lector of Chinese at Yale University. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.Susan Wilf teaches at George School in Pennsylvania and was awarded a PEN Translation Fund Grant for Confessions.