Also By This Author
“This remarkable account of a childhood spent on the banks of the Yangtze River . . . explores the depths of personal and civil repression with an almost brutal grace.” The New Yorker
Daughter of the River
978-0-8021-3660-2 • $14.00 • Paperback • Jan. 2000
Hong Ying’s Daughter of the River is a remarkable booka memoir of China unlike any we have seen before. Acclaimed around the world, it is both a compelling self-portrait by a remarkable writer and an unforgettable exposé of life at the bottom of Chinese society.
Hong Ying was born during the Great Famine of the early 1960s, which claimed the lives of tens of millions, including several of her relatives. Growing up in a slum on the bank of the Yangtze River, in a neighborhood veiled in fog and superstition, she was constantly aware of the sacrifices her family made so that she would survive. And as she neared her eighteenth birthday, she became determined to unravel some of the enigmas that had troubled her all her life: a stalker who had shadowed her since childhood, an anomalous record in her father’s government file, and an unshakable feeling that she was an outsider in her own family.
At the same time, she began a relationship with a history teacher at her school, who awakened her to the possibility of dissent and to her own emerging womanhood. But, as she learned, the truth cuts both ways. While the professor taught her how to think outside the borders the government had set, he himself was under political pressure that would prove unbearable.
Hong Ying’s search for truth led to the discovery of family secrets that changed her lifeand her perceptions of her parents, her sister, and herselftragically and irrevocably. But these same events also set her free to leave home for good and become a writer. With raw intensity and fearless honesty, Daughter of the River follows China’s trajectory through one woman’s life, from the Great Famine through the Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square.