Spider Eaters

ISBN-10: 0520276027

ISBN-13: 9780520276024

Edition: 2013

Authors: Rae Yang

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Description:

Spider Eatersis at once a moving personal story, a fascinating family history, and a unique chronicle of political upheaval told by a Chinese woman who came of age during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution. With stunning honesty and a lively, sly humor, Rae Yang records her life from her early years as the daughter of Chinese diplomats in Switzerland, to her girlhood at an elite middle school in Beijing, to her adolescent experience as a Red Guard and later as a laborer on a pig farm in the remote northern wilderness. She tells of her eventual disillusionment with the Maoist revolution, how remorse and despair nearly drove her to suicide, and how she struggled to make sense of conflicting events that often blurred the line between victim and victimizer, aristocrat and peasant, communist and counter-revolutionary. Moving gracefully between past and present, dream and reality, the author artfully conveys the vast complexity of life in China as well as the richness, confusion, and magic of her own inner life and struggle.Much of the power of the narrative derives from Yang's multi-generational, cross-class perspective. She invokes the myths, legends, folklore, and local customs that surrounded her and brings to life the many people who were instrumental in her life: her nanny, a poor woman who raised her from a baby and whose character is conveyed through the bedtime tales she spins; her father; and her beloved grandmother, who died as a result of the political persecution she suffered.Spanning the years from 1950 to 1980, Rae Yang's story is evocative, complex, and told with striking candor. It is one of the most immediate and engaging narratives of life in post-1949 China.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 3/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 291
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Preface to the Fifteenth Anniversary Edition
Author's Note
A Strange Gift from the Pig Farm
Old Monkey Monster
Nainai's Story Turned into a Nightmare
Nainai Failed Her Ancestors
Why Did Father Join the Revolution?
Second Uncle Was a Paper Tiger
The Chinese CIA
When Famine Hit
A Vicious Girl
Aunty's Name Was Chastity
Beijing 101 Middle School
The Hero in My Dreams
At the Center of the Storm
Red Guards Had No Sex
Semi-transparent Nights
"The Hero, Once Departed, Will Never Come Back"
In a Village, Think, Feel, and Be a Peasant
"The Tree May Wish to Stand Still, but the Wind Will Not Subside"
Death of a Hero: Nainai's Last Story
Remorse
Friends and Others
My First Love, a Big Mistake?
What Have I Lost? What Have I Gained?
Epilogue
Illustrations follow page
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