A unique modern memoir of growing up in rural China, Colours of the Mountain is a powerful and moving story of supreme determination and extraordinary faith against the most impossible odds. Da Chen was born in 1962 in a town over 50 hours' train journey from Beijing. Persecuted because of his family's landlord status, Da was an easy target for the farmer-teachers and bullying peasant boys. Whilst his older brother and sisters were forced to work in the fields, Da tired of the chaotic schooling of the Cultural Revolution and found solace with a band of good-time thugs. Following the death of Mao, an academic meritocracy was reintroduced. Da determined to escape Ch'ing Mountain, where he ran around barefoot and there was no electricity and no future. Together with his brother Jin, who had been working the land since boyhood, he began to study day and night. His determination is staggering and inspiring. In 1978, at the age of sixteen, Da Chen took a bus and a train for the first time in his life and travelled to Beijing, to the best English language institute in China. A book about friendships, prejudice, familial love and academic striving, and of one man's escape from hunger, poverty and ignorance, Colours of the Mountain is an inspiring and eloquently recounted memoir.
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Chinese-born Da Chen is a graduate from Columbia University's School of Law and now lives in New York. This unremarkable fact conceals an indictment of contemporary Chinese society and its repressive censorship of free speech. China is haemorrhaging talented young people, and the recent spate of memoirs by thirtysomething Chinese emigrants describing their childhood years testifies to this sad state of affairs. But this memoir is different in that it is profoundly uplifting, and Da's joyful sense of optimism provides its impetus. Da was born into a neglected farming community in southern China where his family were seen as pariahs. According to the crippling dicates of "political mumbojumbo" Da's siblings were denied a secondary education because his parents were deemed to have had too many children. But despite bullying teachers Da achieved his modest goal. The reader, entranced by his warm personality, cheers him through his arduous revision as he studies by oil-lamp and the gut- wrenching tension of his final exams. It must be remembered that while Western youths were cavorting in discos Da's barefoot older brother was ploughing the family's fields. This is a simple and moving tale for dedicated Sinophiles keen for a vivid portrayal of recent history as lived in a rural community. -- Lilian PizzichiniFrom the Back Cover:
A unique modern memoir of growing up in rural China in the '60s and '70s, Colours of the Mountain is a powerful and moving story of supreme determination and extraordinary faith against the most impossible odds.
A book about friendships, prejudice, familial love and academic striving, and of one man's escape from hunger, poverty and ignorance, Colours of the Mountain is an inspiring and eloquently recounted memoir.
'A remarkable coming-of-age memoir filled with humiliation, revenge, vindication and, ultimately, pride, Colours of the Mountain is a book of great dignity' -Lisa See
'Compelling. Da Chen's lively account of his young life is unforced and his emotions are so well communicated as to become quite infectious. Da Chen seems to be an inherently likeable character...it is difficult not to warm to him. Really worth reading' -Literary Review
'Earthy and literate, picaresque and humanist, Chen spins a winning story from bold, golden strands'
-Gus Lee, author of China Boy
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Book Description Arrow, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 336 pages. 7.80x5.08x0.79 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099298007
Book Description Arrow/Children's (a Division of Random House, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099298007