Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Comrade Lost and Found

A Comrade Lost and Found: A Beijing Memoiris the third Jan Wong book I've read and I highly recommend it. This book chronicles Wong's search for the woman she turned in during the cultural revolution. As an exchange student at Beijing University in the 1970's Wong was smitten with the Great Helmsman's ideology and felt she was doing her duty when she turned in a woman who approached her one day to find out how to immigrate to America. Later this woman was interrogated and shipped off to do hard labor in the hinterlands of China.

Wong later remembered this incident and felt guilty and concerned. Many years have passed and Wong returns to look for the woman who's name she's unsure of. As she searches for this woman, she and her family encounter the nouveau riche of today's China. They drive expensive cars, live in vast, expensively decorated condos and make tons of money.

While I enjoyed Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now and Jan Wong's China more. Still this book features the humor and insight that make Wong's work well worth reading. Because she knows the language and culture so well, lived in China on and off from the '70s through the 90's, Wong can penetrate the culture as few can.

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