Saturday, March 22, 2008

When Huai Flowers Bloom - A Book

On May of 1966, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was launched by the Chairman of Communist Party of Mao Zedong in China. The entire People's Republic of China was plunged into waves after waves of maelstrom of struggle and chaos. It was in this era of extreme cultural shock that the author, Shu Jiang of the book, "When Huai Flowers Bloom" told the mesmerizing stories of her experience of growing up in that momentous trying time.

Shu Jiang Lu is a wonderful storyteller. From her stories, the cultural revolution wasn't just some abstract historical moment, it was rather significant torturing event uprooted, overturned, and destroyed many families and lives. In the heat of the inferno, anything representative of old culture, old tradition and class of intellect was the target of inquisition. Many suffered from emotional and psychological breakdown due to the forced public display of repeated self-criticism and humiliation.

The book read like a beautiful poem, so meticulously exquisite; and I was despondently moved by the bewildering and grief-stricken fate oppressed upon the characters in the book.