Sylvia Ttl's Reviews > China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation

China Witness by Xinran
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Aug 04, 11

bookshelves: politics, history
Read in September, 2009

I sought to read this book out of a great interest over the modern history of China from the standpoint of ordinary people from all walks of life. I appreciate the author's effort to tour China to document true but publicly-unavailable stories, yet she has annoyed me in many occasions for interrupting the interviewees from telling a full account. As a result, a potentially noteworthy personal history ends up as boring and long-winded "grandmother" story that I could not bear to read on. Not to mention the lack of footnotes, and bad editing with lots of grammatical errors. Certain stories are subtly captivating though, e.g the plight of an intellectual couple and the suffering of a righteous policeman. Although this book betters my understanding of China inspiring me to investigate my ancestral history too, I am afraid that it is far from being a remarkable work for my collection. Thanks to the San Jose Library for making it available for loan.
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