Memoirs of China

These memoirs depict the daily life, culture, politics, and upheaval in recent Chinese history.

Lake With No Name: A True Story of Love and Conflict in Modern China
By Diane Wei Liang
Lake with No Name is Diane Wei Liang's remembrance of the time surrounding the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989, of her own role in the democratic movement and of the friends and lovers who stood beside her and made history on that terrible day.

Escape from China: The Long Journey from Tiananmen to Freedom
By Zhang Boli
One of the top student leaders at Tiananmen Square traces his amazing path to liberty in this spine-tingling and vivid memoir.

To the Edge of the Sky: A Story of Love, Betrayal, Suffering, and the Strength of Human Courage
By Anhua Gao
A harrowing account of a remarkable woman's life in communist China, To the Edge of the Sky is a tale of human courage in the face of shocking inhumanity and hardship.

Spider Eaters book jacket

Spider Eaters: A Memoir
By Rae Yang
Spider Eaters is at once a moving personal story, a fascinating family history, and a unique chronicle of political upheaval told by a Chinese woman who came of age during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution. Yang records her life from her early years as the daughter of Chinese diplomats in Switzerland, to her girlhood at an elite middle school in Beijing, to her adolescent experience as a Red Guard and later as a laborer on a pig farm in the remote northern wilderness.

Colors of the Mountain
By Da Chen
The youngest of five children, Da Chen was born in 1962 in rural China. Because his family belongs to the landlord class, they lose everything during the Cultural Revolution: Chen’s father and grandfather are publicly humiliated, beaten, and periodically taken off to labor camps; his older siblings are forced to leave school and work in the rice fields. Feisty and smart, Chen joins a gang of young troublemakers, but he also befriends an elegant, older Chinese woman who teaches him English and opens the door to a new life.

Sounds of the River: A Memoir
By Da Chen
This sequel to Colors of the Mountain begins with Da Chen’s first train ride as a teenager from his farm in suburban China to the University of Beijing. Here, he faces a host of ghastly challenges including poor living conditions, lack of food, and suicidal roommates. Undaunted by these hurdles and armed with his instinct to learn English and "all things Western," he must compete with every student to win a chance at studying in America.

Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard
By Fan Shen
In 1966, twelve-year-old Fan Shen, a newly minted Red Guard, plunged happily into China's Cultural Revolution. Disillusion soon followed, then turned to disgust and fear when Shen discovered that his compatriots had tortured and murdered a doctor whose house he'd helped raid and whose beautiful daughter he secretly adored. A story of coming of age in the midst of monumental historical upheaval, Shen's Gang of One is a memoir of one young man's harrowing experience during a time of terror, as well as one of courage, cunning, wit, tenacity, resourcefulness, and sheer luck.

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
By Jung Chang
The forces of history and the exceptional talents of this young writer combine to produce a work of nonfiction with the breadth and drama of the richest, most memorable fiction classics. Wild Swans is a landmark book, with the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic vision of a monumental human saga, which tells of the lives of Jung Chang, her mother, her grandmother, and of 20th-century China.

Other Books by Diane Wei Liang

Paper Butterfly book jacket

Paper Butterfly
By Diane Wei Liang
In this novel, Mei Wang lives and works as a private detective in China's capital city. After her resignation from the Ministry for Public Security, Mei saw her status drop swiftly in the eyes of her former colleagues, her TV-star sister, and even her mother. But sharp, intuitive Mei has taken her valuable experience and her insider knowledge of the police and city politics and set herself up as a successful private investigator. Now, with her own car, her own business, even a male receptionist to reflect her well-to-do status, Mei Wang is ensconced in her own little corner of the biggest city in China.

The Eye of Jade
By Diane Wei Liang
This gripping novel features an unforgettable female detective in today’s Beijing, whose search for a missing artifact leads her to discover the dishonorable secrets of her nation's culture – and her family's past.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.