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'Return to the Middle Kingdom' - Yuan-Tsung Chen

One Family, Three Revolutionaries, and the Birth of Modern China.

Union Square Press 2008, paperback, 401 pp. Very good, tight tidy condition.

'In the spirit of the classic Wild Swans comes this epic tale spanning three generations and three separate revolutions. Mixing biography and history into a single ambitious story, Yuan-Tsung Chen views China’s rebirth in modern times from the perspective of her late husband’s family.
Ah Chen, a landless peasant, fought in the Taiping Rebellion against the Manchu court in 1850-64. But when Western powers helped crush the uprising, Chen was forced to flee to Trinidad as an indentured servant. Decades later, his son Eugene rose from poverty to become Trinidad’s first Chinese lawyer before moving to London, where he met Sun Yat-sen and became his close aide. Inspired by Sun, Eugene returned to China and led the 1911 revolution that overthrew its last dynasty.
Finally, Eugene’s son Jack—the author’s late husband—used his artistic and journalistic talents to illustrate and explain the Chinese Marxist Revolution to the outside world. When Jack (whose first language was not Chinese) was seized by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, his wife Yuan-tsung was forced to serve as his translator during interrogations. Ordered to write a confession—“Go back three generations to see what crimes your family has committed against the revolution!”—Jack and Yuan-tsung began to piece together the family’s dramatic history.
This remarkable story, spanning a turbulent century and a half, is the compelling result.'
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  • Seller location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

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