Confessions: An Innocent Life In Communist China
by Kang Zhengguo
About This Book
This revealing memoir of human resilience in the face of nightmarish power draws us into the intersections of everyday life and Communist power from the first days of "Liberation" in 1949 through the Tiananmen Square protests and after. The son of a professional family, Kang Zhengguo is a free spirit, drawn to literature. In Mao's China, these innocuous circumstances expose him at the age of 20 to a fierce struggle session, expulsion from university, and a four-year term of hard labour in Xian's Number Two Brickyard. So begins his long stay in the prison-camp system, a poignant story of hardship, of warmth and humour in the face of cruelty. He finally escapes the Chinese gulag by forfeiting his identity: at age 28, he is adopted by an aging bachelor in a peasant village, which enables him to start a new life. After Mao's death, Zhengguo is rehabilitated, but remains vulnerable to a power that strikes like a recurring nightmare.
Kang Zhengguo now teaches Chinese language and literature at Yale University.
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