Red Azalea Life and Love in China Author:Anchee Min This is an honest and frightening memoir of growing up in Communist China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. — Min describes a systematically deprived Shanghai childhood (the family was forced into successively meaner quarters); school days spent as a member of the Red Guard, spouting the words of Chairman Mao and being forced... more » to publicly betray her favorite teacher; and later teen years on a work farm in order to become a peasant because peasants were the only true vanguard of the revolution. The farm years, with their backbreaking workdays and heartbreaking, lonely nights, exemplify the grinding insanity of the Cultural Revolution, the terror and dehumanization it inflicted on ordinary Chinese. Eventually, Min was tapped by the party to be in the propaganda film Red Azalea, during the making of which she suffered more humiliation and political subterfuge.
What is so extraordinary is that Min managed to keep a tight hold on her spirit. Her autobiography is not just a coming-of-age story or history lesson; it is a tale of inner strength and courage that transcends time and place.« less