- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Chatto & Windus (Oct. 7 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0701180390
- ISBN-13: 978-0701180393
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4 x 24 cm
- Shipping Weight: 798 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #952,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation Hardcover – Oct 7 2008
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About the Author
Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958 and was a successful journalist in China. In 1997 she moved to London where she began work on her seminal book, The Good Women of China. She has also written Sky Burial and a novel, Miss Chopsticks.
Top customer reviews
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The book is a mix of stories; some poignant, some happy, some sad, some heart-wrenching, but all worth reading -- all stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.
These people are China's version of the wartime "greatest generation." Mostly they are, as Xinran says, "silent." They feel their sacrifices and involvements in mistakes of the past have rendered them irrelevant to their grandchildren. But they are the foundation of modern China, and Xinran wants to thank them.
--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Unfortunately, I found myself a little irritated by some of Xinran's commentaries. Oftentimes, she would discuss why she was qualified to interview such subjects, why the subjects trusted her, why she was qualified to discuss Chinese culture, how hard it was to travel, and so forth. Two other books of interviews that I read recently did not have as much interference from their respective authors ("The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories" and "Woman from Shanghai: Tales of Survival from a Chinese Labor Camp"). Perhaps this is a small quibble, but it obstructed the interesting and personal narratives of the subjects, whom I found more interesting than the author's triumphs and tribulations.
Nevertheless, this book is of interest to laypeople like myself who want to know more about China and the recent tragedies of the country.