Synopses & Reviews
“It is my hope that this memoir may serve as a reminder and a memorial to all of the children who were lost in the Chaos,” Emily Wu writes at the beginning of Feather in the Storm
Told from a childs and young girls point of view, Wus spellbinding account–which spans nineteen years of growing up during the chaos of Chinas Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution–opens on her third birthday as she meets her father for the first time in a concentration camp. A well-known academic and translator of American literary classics, her father had been designated an “ultra-rightist” and class enemy. As a result, Wus family would be torn apart and subjected to an unending course of humiliation, hardship and physical and psychological abuse. Wu tells her story of this hidden Holocaust, in which millions of children and their families died, through a series of vivid vignettes that brilliantly–and innocently–evoke the cruelty and brutality of what was taking place daily in the world around her. From watching helplessly as the family apartment is ransacked and her father carted off by former students to be publicly beaten, to her own rape and the hard labor and primitive rituals of life in a remote peasant village, Wu is persecuted as a child of the damned.
Wus narrative is poignant, disturbing and unsentimental, and, despite the nature of what it describes, is filled with the resiliency of youth–and even humor. That Emily Wu survived is remarkable. That she is able to infuse her story with such immediacy, power and unexpected beauty is the greatness of this book. Feather in the Storm is an unforgettable story of the courage and silent suffering of one small child set in a quicksand world of endless terror.
Told in the unadorned, heartrending voice of a child, this spellbinding account follows Wu's years growing up in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution. of photos.
About the Author
Emily Wus stories have appeared in both Chinese and American publications. She is one of the featured subjects in the film Up to the Mountain, Down to the Village
. She lives with her two children in Cupertino, California.
Larry Engelmann is the author of five previous books, including Daughter of China. His writing has appeared in many publications, including American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the magazines of both the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He lives in San Jose, California.