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In Search of My Homeland: A Memoir of a Chinese Labor Camp
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In Search of My Homeland: A Memoir of a Chinese Labor Camp

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The memoir of Er Tai Gao, a chinese artist, art critic, and intellectual who spent twenty years in and out of china's gulag until his escape to freedom in hong kong in 1992 and his defection to america in 1993

In 1957, twenty-two-year-old art teacher Er Tai Gao came to the attention of the Communist Chinese authorities with his groundbreaking essay "On Beauty," in which he
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Hardcover, 259 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Ecco Press (first published 2009)
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Petra Eggs
(Rewritten, posted before I had finished the review)

I rarely read introductions or forewords until I've finished the book. I wish I had stuck to that this time.

The introduction was written by the translator. It was verbose, badly-written and a struggle to get through. It had very little to say I would want to read in an introduction but it said it anyway, at length. That should have been warning enough. Interesting as the subject was it was so difficult to read, so terribly heavy, humourless and
...more
Dave
Jan 17, 2010 Dave rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I found this book strangely difficult to read. While the subject was totally enthralling, the fact that it had been written on little scraps of paper over the years made it somewhat hard to get into. That and the author's disengagement (though it's no wonder) prevented me from getting fully immersed. Too bad. It's such a vital story to be told and should have been such an enthralling account of the world of an artist under the thumb of Maoist China.
Arnan
May 03, 2011 Arnan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never thought that I would ever buy a book like this. In fact, I have no idea why I picked up the book in the first place. But I am happy to say that it was worth it. I have no regrets reading this book.

It is a sad story. Tai Gao reflect his days in a labor camp. Where people who were at odds with the Chinese government or people who thought differently were sent to be re-educated through hard labor.

A sad story. But full of meaning and power.
Paul
Jan 15, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Er Tai Gao's "In Search of my Homeland" is a fascinating account of his imprisonment in a Chinese labor camp. The courage and lack of bitterness he portrays demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit and power of hope. His account of the Cultural Revolution, as friends betray friends for the tiniest taste of power or favor, shows the dark side of the human experience. Originally written on hidden scraps of paper, the work is technically flawed -- parts of the story are repeated in several c ...more
Aga
Oct 15, 2015 Aga rated it liked it
I wish this book was about life in labor camp, but unfortunately it is full of Gao's thoughts about art. The story about being in the camp is very small, so maybe it's a not a good title? He didn't even describe the most interesting years - 1958-1962. I'm very dissappointed, because I thought the book is about something else.
Gabby
Apr 02, 2015 Gabby rated it really liked it
Solzhenitsyn has nothing on Er Tai Gao when it comes to deprivations... a distressing but fascinatng read. I found the descriptions of the camp nightly 'meetings' more difficult to read than anything else for some reason.
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“Beauty that isn't felt isn't beauty” 3 likes
“The sea accepts a hundred rivers, grows big by accepting
The cliff stands a thousand feet, is strong by not desiring.”
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