Moderated by Kang-i Sun Chang (Yale University), Kang Zhengguo (Yale University), Susan Wilf (Translator and George School Director of ESL), Perry Link (Princeton University) & Steve Forman (Editor, Vice President of Norton Publishing)
A revealing memoir of human resilience in the face of nightmarish power. With clear vision this intimate memoir 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 twenty to a fierce struggle session, expulsion from university, and a four-year term of hard labor in Xian’s Number Two Brickyard. So begins his long stay in the prison-camp system, a story of hardship and poignance, of warmth and humor in the face of cruelty. He finally escapes the Chinese gulag by forfeiting his identity: at age twenty-eight he is adopted by an aging bachelor in a peasant village, which enables him to start a new life. Rehabilitated after Mao’s death, Kang finds himself still subject to the recurring nightmare of party authority. SPECIAL NOTE: There will be a MASTER’S TEA AT DAVENPORT COLLEGE with Kang Zhengguo and Susan Wilf at 4:00 PM on Thursday, October 4, 2007 in the Common Room of Davenport College, 248 York Street, New Haven, CT. The Master’s Tea will be followed by a BOOK SIGNING EVENT from 5:00 to 6:00 PM at the Yale University Bookstore, 2nd Floor, 77 Broadway Street, New Haven, CT.