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The Phoenix Years: Art, resistance and the making of modern China
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The Phoenix Years: Art, resistance and the making of modern China

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
'Amidst all the chatter about China lies this rock of a book, a magnificent memoir/ history from the very core of modern Chinese society and history. It's a wonderful thing where the essential book and the delightful book are, as in this case, the one thing. Let no one speak of China who has not read The Phoenix Years.' Tom Keneally, author of Australians

The Phoenix Years
Kindle Edition, 360 pages
Published August 24th 2016 by Allen & Unwin (first published August 2016)
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Theresa Leone Davidson
Journalist and writer Madeleine O'Dea writes a look at the history of modern China, from the philosophy of their government to the economic conditions to social issues, all for the last several decades, but with a twist: she relates the history through the lens of artists. The book is without a doubt fascinating, and I loved it. If you are interested in contemporary China, or art, or history, this book is for you. Highly recommend!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Venía por Ai Weiwei y acabé llevando mucho más.
Pamela Hamon
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a gripping read for me. The author's journalistic background really helped the characters and situations come to life. I appreciated the approach of looking at this tumultuous period in history from the perspective of an arts movement.
Robert Boyd
I have long been somewhat interested in contemporary art from China, but found it hard to place the art in a narrative, historical framework. The Phoenix Years is the solution--it relates the artists who arose between 1978 and now in a historical context. The democracy wall and the rise of Deng Xiaoping, the economic liberalization of China and the suppression of the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square (which was attended by several of the artists discussed in this book, including the incredible S ...more
Wai Chim
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An insightful and thoroughly realised recount of this very important time in modern China. 'The Phoenix Years' puts the reader directly in the time and place - engaging one-on-one with pivotal persons that will transform the artistic landscape and the mood of the nation. I learned so much from this book and the narrative is extraordinarily well-written. I recommend this to anyone interested in discovering new voices of art and history on the international scene.
James Whitmore
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
Great intro to the past 50 years of China's history through the lens of contemporary art. The economics and politics went a bit over my head but this book movingly conveys the passion, hopes and griefs of the artists.
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Madeleine O’Dea is a writer with a 30-year background in journalism. Her memoir/history of post-Cultural Revolution China, The Phoenix Years, was published by Allen & Unwin, (Sydney, 2016) and by Pegasus Books (New York, 2017)

The Phoenix Years won the Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize at the 2017 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, which honours excellence in literary research, and was long-list

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