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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

thoughts on: China Witness

China Witness: Voices from a Silent GenerationChina Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation by Xinran

I read to page 231 (out of 417) before deciding to set this one aside.  I find the subject, living through the turmoil of China's cultural revolution, interesting, but the presentation did not engage me.  I expected it to be like her other books, The Good Women of China and Letter from an Unknown Chinese Mother, but it lacked the narrative style of those books.  Instead of telling a different story in each chapter, China Witness gives only a short introduction followed by a transcript of an interview with each person.  The transcripts were not difficult to read, but they were dry.  I found myself thinking that I'd rather watch the videotaped interviews than read them.  Not that I speak Chinese, so I guess I'd still be reading subtitles....but maybe seeing the interviewees would add the dimension that seemed to be missing.

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