Life and Death in Shanghai

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9780140108705: Life and Death in Shanghai

A first-hand account of China's cultural revolution.

A first-hand account of China's cultural revolution. Nien Cheng, an anglophile and fluent English-speaker who worked for Shell in Shanghai under Mao, was put under house arrest by Red Guards in 1966 and subsequently jailed. All attempts to make her confess to the charges of being a British spy failed; all efforts to indoctrinate her were met by a steadfast and fearless refusal to accept the terms offered by her interrogators. When she was released from prison she was told that her daughter had committed suicide. In fact Meiping had been beaten to death by Maoist revolutionaries.

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Product Description:

A first-hand account of China's cultural revolution.

Nien Cheng, an anglophile and fluent English-speaker who worked for Shell in Shanghai under Mao, was put under house arrest by Red Guards in 1966 and subsequently jailed. All attempts to make her confess to the charges of being a British spy failed; all efforts to indoctrinate her were met by a steadfast and fearless refusal to accept the terms offered by her interrogators. When she was released from prison she was told that her daughter had committed suicide. In fact Meiping had been beaten to death by Maoist revolutionaries.

From the Back Cover:

During China’s Cultural Revolution, Nien Cheng, a fluent English-speaker who worked for Shell in Shanghai, was accused of being a British spy and locked up in solitary confinement for six and a half years. When she was finally released – to face years of further harassment and intimidation – she learned that her daughter had been beaten to death by over-zealous Red Guards. This extraordinary book is the story of her struggle to survive against the odds, defying her brutal interrogators and steadfastly maintaining her innocence.

“What a story! … a gripping, poignant chronicle of courage, fortitude and, above all, stubborn integrity during more than six years of cold, hunger, disease, terror and humiliation in a Shanghai jail … I felt riveted by her struggle to endure, which exalts the triumph of the human spirit over mindless inhumanity. Her narrative deserves to rank with the foremost prison diaries of our time, and therein lies its universal value.”
STANLEY KARNOW, 'Washington Post'

“Of the scores of books on China, 'Life and Death in Shanghai' stands apart as a deeply moving personal document. One is drawn into the incredible events of the Cultural Revolution not only by the surreal circumstances but also by Nien Cheng’s narrative power and her amazing mastery of English.”
ARTHUR MILLER

“With matter-of-fact unsentimentality, the author induces the reader into a disorienting nightmare – a nightmare less of physical deprivation (although that was bad enough) but of a perverted mental and moral world, a Chinese 'Darkness at Noon'“
COLIN THUBRON, 'Spectator'

“Brilliant; not only the most intelligent and unsparing memoir to date of the Chinese Revolution, but also the most daring and complex revelation of Chinese character”
ROXANE WITKE

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