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    Life and Death in Shanghai (Paperback) By (author) Nien Cheng

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    DescriptionA first-hand account of China's cultural revolution. Nien Cheng, an anglophile and fluent English-speaker who worked for Shell in Shanghai under Mao, was put under house arrest by Red Guards in 1966 and subsequently jailed. All attempts to make her confess to the charges of being a British spy failed; all efforts to indoctrinate her were met by a steadfast and fearless refusal to accept the terms offered by her interrogators. When she was released from prison she was told that her daughter had committed suicide. In fact Meiping had been beaten to death by Maoist revolutionaries.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Life and Death in Shanghai

    Life and Death in Shanghai
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Nien Cheng
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 512
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 196 mm
    Thickness: 32 mm
    Weight: 380 g
    ISBN 13: 9780006548614
    ISBN 10: 000654861X

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 21600
    BIC E4L: POL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2A
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FPC
    BIC subject category V2: BGA, JPWQ, HBTV
    Ingram Subject Code: BA
    DC22: B
    Libri: B-090
    BIC subject category V2: JPVR
    DC20: 365.45092
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: BIO000000
    BIC subject category V2: 1FPC
    HarperCollins Publishers
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    01 October 2007
    Publication City/Country
    Review text
    The sufferings of a rich woman during China's Cultural Revolution. Cheng was part of a family associated with Shell Oil before the political mood changed in 1968. Now a resident of Washington, D,C., Cheng looks back with horror at her six and a half years of imprisonment and psychological torture, as well as the brutal death of her daughter. In formal, sometimes stiff English prose, Cheng recounts the weird atmosphere of the days when schoolchildren would follow her in the street, calling her "Spy! Imperialist spy! Running dog of the imperialists!" An anonymous ill-wisher even wrote on her front gate, "An arrogant imperialist spy lives here." Indeed, she would soon be arrested on charges of being a British agent. Yet before this, Cheng suffered through "frequent nightmares in which I saw my daughter brutally beaten, tortured, and killed in a blood-splattered room." Almost as bad were visits from strangers bearing gifts who claimed to be friends of her daughter. Cheng later witnessed her daughter's murderer being freed as part of a general reprieve. In length and grimness, this tale achieves something of the effect of one of Solzhenitsyn's works, though it is less pretentiously written than anything by the Russian. Cheng even offers a bit of anticlimactic wit: on the plane leaving China in 1980, she was taken aback when a stewardess offered her a Bloody Mary or a Screwdriver: she associated these drinks with instruments of torture. An ennobling and vivid accounting of an indomitable spirit. (Kirkus Reviews)