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Daughter of China: A True Story of Love and Betrayal

– tekijä: Meihong Xu, Larry Engelmann (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1385154,585 (3.73)7
The critically acclaimed memoir of a forbidden love affair in communist China "An important work."-San Francisco Chronicle "Riveting."-Kirkus Reviews "This memoir is a must-read."-San Jose Mercury News Now in paperback, here is the stunning true tale of a remarkable woman trained as an elite soldier in the Chinese army, her forbidden love for an American, and her seemingly impossible escape-with his help-from the nation to which she had pledged her life. An astonishing testament to the enduring resilience of love and the human spirit in the face of even the most oppressive, hopeless conditions, Daughter of China offers a compelling look at life inside the rigid walls of Communist China, revealing in fascinating detail Meihong Xu's inculcation into the system-a process so effective that she would willingly betray a friend or family member to prove her loyalty. Written with clear-eyed candor and stark eloquence, Daughter of China is at once a timeless, deeply moving story of a prohibited love affair and a dramatic depiction of life under Chinese Communism.… (lisätietoja)
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I was not really sure what to think of this book. I'm glad I continued reading, otherwise I would have missed a good and interesting read.

I liked this book and the insight it gave me on how the Chinese society works (or worked, since the book has been written over a decade ago). I liked the way the story was written, memories, thoughts set off another part of Meihong Xu's life story.
Despite I have no experience on China or with Chinese bureaucracy, the book felt strangely familiar, part of it could have happened in the Soviet Union too. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Heard about from Miz B at Should Be Reading 10/17/2008
  schmadeke | Oct 17, 2008 |
In dit meeslepende autobiografische boek vertelt Meihong Xu, dochter van de Chinese Culturele Revolutie, in een fascinerend verhaal hoe zij als officier van het Chinese leger verliefd werd op de Amerikaanse docent die zij geacht werd te bespionneren. Meihong Xu was de partijleiding al jong opgevallen. Daardoor kreeg zij een goede opleiding en ging ze uiteindelijk deel uitmaken van een elitegroepje jonge officieren die, binnen het Chinese systeem van repressie, verraad en zelfkritiek, werd opgeleid om later als spion in het Westen te kunnen functioneren. De elite-officieren moesten niet alleen vertrouwd gemaakt worden met de westerse cultuur, maar ook het Engels volledig beheersen. Dus werden er ook buitenlandse docenten aangetrokken. Zo ontmoetten Meihong en Larry Engelmarm elkaaar. Ook buiten de lessen om mocht Meihong niet Engelmann omgaan, echter alleen voor zover dat nodig was om informatie uit hem te krijgen die ze moest doorgeven aan haar superieuren. Dat werd problematisch ` toen de twee verliefd werden. Uiteindelijk leidde dat tot Meihongs arrestatie, ondervraging en oneervol ontslag. Dan volgt het ongelooflijke verhaal van hoe de twee - met list en bedrog en de hulp van moedige kennissen - erin slagen toestemming te krijgen om te trouwen, waarna ze in een gammel bootje het land weten te ontvluchten. Dochter van China biedt een indringend beeld van een repressief land waar iedere vriend en kennis een spion kan zijn - maar vertelt ook van de moed van enkelen die bereid zijn het regime te belazeren, om anderen te helpen. ( )
  gormel | Mar 31, 2008 |
It took me a while to get into this one, it's an odd mix of linear narrative and looking back so you feel you constantly need to be aware of what date she is talking about! It didn't touch me as much as Wild Swans did but then it is very much about one generation of chinese women really with just small moments of referring to the older generations. It's not so much about love as living in a restricted environment with no security or safety being constantly spied upon. ( )
  Jennie_103 | Apr 26, 2007 |
The subtitle may cause confusion. Many readers have complained about this book not being a love story the title claims. Reviewers question Xu Meihong's motive in marrying Professor Larry Engelmann. "She loves him, or does she?" Comments like this flood the reviews. Love and romance aside, *Daughter of China* tells of all the oppressive, threatening, secretive, manipulative practices of the Communist Party. Much of what happened to Meihong and her family, as she has noted, is what foreigners don't see and beyond their imagination. "It doesn't mean it's not there just because you don't see it."
Xu Meihong grew up during the upheaval of the Proletarian Cultural Revolution and was admitted into the PLA (People's Liberation Army) at the age of 17. Selected as one of the 12 Pandas, she was among the country's sharpest women matriculated at the Institute of Interational Relations in Nanjing. She became a member of the elite intelligence corps and was told to spy on visiting American professor Larry Engelmann. As Meihong got to know the professor, she realized "this man has nothing to do with breaching Chinese national security" and Meihong's old loyalties to the Red party began to shake. She started to "have compunction" for Larry and tried to protect him from being pursued or possibly arrested by the Chinese government. When their friendship was discovered, Meihong was arrested, beaten, interrogated, and imprisoned by PLA Colonel. She decided that she would not sacrifice Larry in exchange for her own life. When told to sign a forged petition that falsely accused Larry of raping her, Meihong firmly took her ground and refused. Professor Engelmann was asked to leave the country. Upon expulsion from the Institute and thus the PLA, Xu Meihong was sent back to her village in Lishi in Jiangsu province. She was forevered marked by the government and that "there will never be a normal life for her in China again." Her dossier will forever her everywhere she settles down.

This book is stunning in the way how Meihong Xu has disclosed some of the darkest PLA practices. She recalled the warning given to all incoming cadets about keeping everything confidential: the Institute's location, phone number, contents of the courses, modes of training, etc. Yet in this book she has gone through even the details of their rifle practice, how the cadets were required to work the AK-47 blindfolded because enemies could spew an attack at night. She talks about her interrogation by PLA colonel in gory details. "The truth, is what [the PLA colonel] say it is. It is not for you to decide or to judge." Therefore, if one proclaims innocence upon his arrest, it will only compound the seriousness of one's wrongdoing.

The book also depicts power struggle wintin the Communist Party. The country finds itself at a point where the old conservatives, those who disfavor party reforms, conflict with the younger party reformists. When Meihong was arrested for her association with a foreigner (which affects national security as the PLA claims), the colonel wanted desperately to use her and her relationship with Larry to unmask, discredit and purge a clique of PLA officers who had been working quietly for broad reforms in the military.

If Anchee Min's *Red Azalea* has been a joltingly honest account of life under Mao China, *Daughter of China* is an extraordinary tale of how a PLA officer with a bright, promising future battles turns herself into an enemy of the PLA and battles for her love and freedom. Meihong had seen firsthand how the Party and the PLA used deception and lies to confound its own and to turn friend against friend and lover against lover, even family member against family member. In a sense, *Daughter of China* is more realistic than *Red Azalea*. The tales about Meihong's aunt Lingdi being purged, her mother working far northeast during the famine to support the family, her great-grandfather being dropped in boiling oil again testify to the austere, oppressed lives of common people under Mao China. ( )
1 ääni mattviews | Feb 28, 2006 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Meihong Xuensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Engelmann, LarryTekijäpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The critically acclaimed memoir of a forbidden love affair in communist China "An important work."-San Francisco Chronicle "Riveting."-Kirkus Reviews "This memoir is a must-read."-San Jose Mercury News Now in paperback, here is the stunning true tale of a remarkable woman trained as an elite soldier in the Chinese army, her forbidden love for an American, and her seemingly impossible escape-with his help-from the nation to which she had pledged her life. An astonishing testament to the enduring resilience of love and the human spirit in the face of even the most oppressive, hopeless conditions, Daughter of China offers a compelling look at life inside the rigid walls of Communist China, revealing in fascinating detail Meihong Xu's inculcation into the system-a process so effective that she would willingly betray a friend or family member to prove her loyalty. Written with clear-eyed candor and stark eloquence, Daughter of China is at once a timeless, deeply moving story of a prohibited love affair and a dramatic depiction of life under Chinese Communism.

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