Ten Years of Madness: Oral Histories of China's Cultural Revolution

Front Cover
China Books, 1996 - History - 285 pages
5 Reviews
In the tradition of Studs Terkel, Ten Years of Madness includes the testimonials of 15 people from all walks of life-from red guards and rebels to workers and intellectuals-who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In retelling their stories, Feng Jicai offers a human voice to this unforgettable historical tragedy in a cathartic attempt to exorcise the demons of memory, while reminding us of the power and resilience of the human soul.
  

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Review: Ten Years of Madness: Oral Histories of China's Cultural Revolution

User Review  - Dan Annie - Goodreads

This book puts everything in life into perspective. In those ten years of absolute absurdity, the most ridiculous story may actually be someone's reality. What's displayed in this book are both the ... Read full review

Review: Ten Years of Madness: Oral Histories of China's Cultural Revolution

User Review  - Emily Alp - Goodreads

Amazing book -- if this doesn't change your perspective on life, there's little that will. It's broken up into powerful accounts of various victims lives. Really makes you think about what you have ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
TRAPPED IN THE GREAT NORTHERN WILDERNESS
17
STREAM OF MISERABLE CONSCIOUSNESS
33
CONFESSIONAL
49
IVE BECOME A DIFFERENT PERSON
61
ITS HARD TO EXPLAIN
83
THE DEAR PRICE OF WORSHIP
101
THE STORY OF A SMILE
127
A MAN WITHOUT A STORY
171
TWO WOMEN OF NO 63
181
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION LASTED 2000 YEARS
201
HAIR CUT BY A GHOST
219
SEEKING PLEASURE OUT OF MISERY
235
APPENDIX
251
A CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS 19491979
275
Copyright

REFUSE TO ADMIT I WAS A SACRIFICIAL OBJECT
143

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About the author (1996)

Ji-cai Feng was born in Tianjin, China, in 1942. His father was an entrepreneur and his mother came from a line of scholar-bureaucrats. As a youth he led a sheltered life and has been described by a friend as having been "a naive, sentimental dreamer who lived in a fantasy world of poetry, painting, and music." He was also a mischievous child, talented and creative, but mediocre scholastically. Feng first wanted to be a painter, and he showed promise, winning a citywide painting competition while he was still in high school. But his height attracted the attention of the coach of the Tianjin Men's Basketball Team, and he ended up playing professional basketball until he resigned because of numerous injuries. He then entered the Tianjin Calligraphy and Painting Society, where he worked making copies of famous paintings for export, but he hated the work, which lacked any intellectual or artistic challenge. The Cultural Revolution in China changed everything for him. One day on the street, he was attacked by Red Guards who cut off his hair, and then his family's home was ransacked and his works of art destroyed. From then on life was difficult, and he and his young wife had to struggle to earn enough money to live on. During this bleak period, he first began to write secretly, moved by the intensity of emotion he felt toward the terror of the events that he was witnessing. Tragically, his manuscripts from this period were lost during the collapse of his house in the great Tangshan earthquake in 1976. Feng began to publish his fiction in 1977, first sticking to safe historical novels and then in 1979 branching out into contemporary themes. His "Chrysanthemums" won a prize in a 1979 short story competition. He now writes full-time and is vice-chairman of the Tianjin branch of the Chinese Writer's Association.

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