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No tears for Mao : growing up in the Cultural Revolution /
Niu-Niu ; translated by Enne and Peter Amman.
Chicago, IL : Academy Chicago Publishers, 1995.
279 p. ; 23 cm.
0897334108 :
More Details
Chicago, IL : Academy Chicago Publishers, 1995.
0897334108 :
general note
Originally published: Paris, 1989.
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A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1995-01:
The Cultural Revolution, launched by the Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966, was a disastrous period in modern Chinese history. This shocking decade left many Chinese, especially the "intellectuals," with haunting memories. Quite a few recent autobiographies have covered this territory (e.g., Zhai Zhenhua's Red Flower of China, LJ 4/15/93; Anchee Min's Red Azalea, LJ 12/93). Unlike the other memoirists, who were usually adults or teenagers at the time and had personally participated in the Revolution, Niu-Niu was born ten days after it began. As a result, she is not so much concerned with an accurate portrayal of this period as she is with what she felt as a child and the affect of the Revolution upon her growing up. Her account, first published in France, is passionate testimony told in simple yet vivid language. An overwhelming pathos is conveyed through the innocent tone of a child. For public libraries.-Mark Meng, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1994-12-12:
Red Guards called her grandfather an enemy of the people and beat him to death; her parents were sent into rural exile for reeducation; as a youngster, Niu-Niu was branded a child of criminals and reduced to poverty. The early part of her memoir consists of powerful vignettes recalling what it was like to live in a society where laughter and tears were officially regulated, kindness toward a 10-year-old ``counterrevolutionary'' was a serious crime, where the self-righteous urge to punish others for political incorrectness spread like cancer. The latter chapters are disappointing, however. As a student at Beijing University, Niu-Niu seemed determined to live up to her name, which can be translated ``Ill-Natured'' or ``Sour-puss,'' and to be ``without love, without hope, and without decency.'' Part of this attitude revolved around her relationships with ``oversexed foreign demons,'' who included a hapless American from whom she extorted money. And none of it has much to do with the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. Niu-Niu's account of her post-childhood experiences-she bragged to a friend during this period that she was ``a slut''-is lacking in focus and not detailed enough to satisfy prurient curiosity. The author now lives in France. Photos. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, November 1994
Booklist, December 1994
Publishers Weekly, December 1994
Library Journal, January 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Unpaid Annotation
Two days after Niu-Niu was born, on May 16, 1966, Mao Zedong began his "Great Cultural Revolution", which caused untold suffering. This direct eyewitness account of one of the world's most shocking social upheavals is told vividly and compassionately. It is a chronicle readers will not forget.

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