A Boy of China: In Search of Mao's Lost Son
Paperback $32.99 - HarperCollins Publishers
Philosophy, Politics & Current Affairs - Published: 1/May/2016 - ISBN: 9781775540885
The incredible story of the search for one of Mao's lost children against the extraordinary backdrop of modern China. 'A son is very important in Chinese society,' he had said. 'To lose one is careless. The ancestors would be angry.' After that I didn't see Mr Wong again, but his story of the boy who was lost stayed with me for a long time. Eventually my interest faded, partly because of the lack of real information, partly because I was busy working on other projects. But then seventeen years later it was rekindled in the most unexpected way. The author, an accomplished travel writer already, has heard vague stories of the son that Mao and his then-wife gave away during the Long March. When another chance conversation in Bangkok reminds him of this, he sets out to see what he can find, gradually peeling away layers of myth and rumour until he arrives at the door of a man who may be that lost son. Along the way, the extraordinary reality of the new China unfolds, with the author encountering all manner of people who confound stereotypes, and present the many faces of an economic powerhouse and rapidly changing society. The resolution of the search and the journey is poignant and even tragic; if the facts cannot be completely proven, the reader is left satisfied that a kind of truth has still been revealed.
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