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Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in China

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A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose by the now ninety-five-year-old author. Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he saw Mao Meitang, a girl he'd known from childhood who had grown up to be a beautiful woman--the woman his father had arranged f A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose by the now ninety-five-year-old author. Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he saw Mao Meitang, a girl he'd known from childhood who had grown up to be a beautiful woman--the woman his father had arranged for him to marry. One glimpse of her through a window as she put on lipstick was enough to capture Rao's heart, the moment that sparked a union that would last almost sixty years. Our Story is that epic romance told through his paintings and accompanying text. We see Pingru and Meitang through the decades, in both poverty and good fortune--looking for work, opening a restaurant, moving cities, mending shoes, raising their children, and being separated for seventeen years by the government when Pingru is sent to a labor camp. As they age, China undergoes extraordinary growth, political turmoil, and cultural change. When Meitang passes away in 2008, Pingru memorializes his wife and their relationship the only way he knows how: through painting. In an outpouring of love and grief, he puts it all on paper. It's a tale at once tragic and inspiring, of enduring love and simple values, an old-fashioned story that unfolds in a nation rapidly becoming modern. Spanning 1923 to 2008, Our Story is a truly singular graphic memoir.


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A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose by the now ninety-five-year-old author. Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he saw Mao Meitang, a girl he'd known from childhood who had grown up to be a beautiful woman--the woman his father had arranged f A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose by the now ninety-five-year-old author. Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he saw Mao Meitang, a girl he'd known from childhood who had grown up to be a beautiful woman--the woman his father had arranged for him to marry. One glimpse of her through a window as she put on lipstick was enough to capture Rao's heart, the moment that sparked a union that would last almost sixty years. Our Story is that epic romance told through his paintings and accompanying text. We see Pingru and Meitang through the decades, in both poverty and good fortune--looking for work, opening a restaurant, moving cities, mending shoes, raising their children, and being separated for seventeen years by the government when Pingru is sent to a labor camp. As they age, China undergoes extraordinary growth, political turmoil, and cultural change. When Meitang passes away in 2008, Pingru memorializes his wife and their relationship the only way he knows how: through painting. In an outpouring of love and grief, he puts it all on paper. It's a tale at once tragic and inspiring, of enduring love and simple values, an old-fashioned story that unfolds in a nation rapidly becoming modern. Spanning 1923 to 2008, Our Story is a truly singular graphic memoir.

30 review for Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in China

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    Somewhat episodic, with plain, unadorned language, this memoir is nonetheless rather moving, as Rao Pingru relates many incidents from his long life, and from that of his wife Mao Meitang, a woman he'd known since his childhood. Pingru and Meitang live through many turbulent events in China's past, including the Japanese invasion and the cultural revolution. Throughout this memoir, we get many little details of Pingru's everyday life, such as ingredients in the steamed meatballs he loved, the co Somewhat episodic, with plain, unadorned language, this memoir is nonetheless rather moving, as Rao Pingru relates many incidents from his long life, and from that of his wife Mao Meitang, a woman he'd known since his childhood. Pingru and Meitang live through many turbulent events in China's past, including the Japanese invasion and the cultural revolution. Throughout this memoir, we get many little details of Pingru's everyday life, such as ingredients in the steamed meatballs he loved, the colour of a proudly-worn robe of his grandmother, how he taught himself to play the violin while at a work camp, and sitting together with Meitang. The memoir begins with Pingru's childhood, and through his years in the army, then his marriage. There are many, detailed paintings made by the author to accompany his text. The paintings are simple in style and sometimes quite beautiful; one in particular that stays with me is near the end of the memoir and is a picture of Pingru and Maitang standing together against a brilliantly coloured sky. The whole volume is charming and moving.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I don't like biographies. Autobiographies even less. And yet I have this to say about "Our Story" by Rao Pingru: There are few books that are as enjoyable as this one. "Our Story" is the autobiography of Chinese natives Rao Pingru and his wife Mao Meitang as they meet, marry, and grow old together. Every story includes paintings made by Pingru and little vignettes explaining each painting and going into greater detail into his life - the good and the bad. He fought the Japanese in WWII, saw his h I don't like biographies. Autobiographies even less. And yet I have this to say about "Our Story" by Rao Pingru: There are few books that are as enjoyable as this one. "Our Story" is the autobiography of Chinese natives Rao Pingru and his wife Mao Meitang as they meet, marry, and grow old together. Every story includes paintings made by Pingru and little vignettes explaining each painting and going into greater detail into his life - the good and the bad. He fought the Japanese in WWII, saw his home town destroyed, worked in a re-education camp for 20 years, and had six children who would all have interesting lives of their own. It's a beautiful story of a life lived, of the things we remember, of the power of a good meal and a good family. It's a very unique picture into real life and it filled me with joy reading it. Just like real life, it starts and stops and ends abruptly. But that only adds to the charm or this marvelous life. I highly recommend "Our Story" by Rao Pingru. It's not a traditional autobiography or a traditional story, but it's excellent and worthy of your time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    “For ordinary people like us, life is made up of numbers of small details that stay with us for no particular reason and, with the passing of time, turn into treasured memories.” Our Story is a contradiction; it’s simplistic, yet evocative, hopeful, but full of regrets. It’s unlike anything I’ve read. I’ve been ordering graphic novels for my library’s collection, and I’m glad I’ve been able to read some graphic memoirs like this one. Pingru has beautiful illustrations he’s created from memory - “For ordinary people like us, life is made up of numbers of small details that stay with us for no particular reason and, with the passing of time, turn into treasured memories.” Our Story is a contradiction; it’s simplistic, yet evocative, hopeful, but full of regrets. It’s unlike anything I’ve read. I’ve been ordering graphic novels for my library’s collection, and I’m glad I’ve been able to read some graphic memoirs like this one. Pingru has beautiful illustrations he’s created from memory - they’re gorgeous. As that quote reads above, he often speaks of the small details of his life with his wife Meitang. These details were usually related to food, that they either cooked or ordered, or where they traveled in China. This story was just so touching and treated with such care and love.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hock Tjoa

    Rao Pingru wrote this charming "graphic novel." It contains text and numerous paintings. My first clear memories are of the ceremony that marked the formal start of my schooling: the Four Treasures of Study, the brand-new brush, ink, paper, and inkstone. Uncle Huang, whose calligraphy was beautiful, grasped my hand and together we traced the first lesson. In 1940, Rao set off to join the First Command Whampoa Academy. I admired Napoleon and chose the artillery but upon graduation (1943) chose the Rao Pingru wrote this charming "graphic novel." It contains text and numerous paintings. My first clear memories are of the ceremony that marked the formal start of my schooling: the Four Treasures of Study, the brand-new brush, ink, paper, and inkstone. Uncle Huang, whose calligraphy was beautiful, grasped my hand and together we traced the first lesson. In 1940, Rao set off to join the First Command Whampoa Academy. I admired Napoleon and chose the artillery but upon graduation (1943) chose the 100th Army stationed in Yongfeng county in Jiangxi. I was determined to go home first and pay my respects at my mother's grave. Then I would go and kill the enemy and die without regret. He married Mao Meitang in 1948 and writes of walks by a lake or snacking on Nanchang's "ovenside sesame cakes," chatting and sipping tea. Once they quarreled and stopped talking for a few hours. It was the only instance in their marriage that Rao could recall. After the Revolution of 1949, Rao tried his hand at business. The family settled in Shanghai where he worked as an accountant at the hospital and as Art and Literature editor at Dade Publications. 1957 brought a drastic change in the political climate and Rao spent 1958-80 in "Re-education through Labor." Meitang survived with their five children on work in factories. Rao worked at a factory during reeducation and was allowed to go home for Chinese New Year. When released he had to sign an agreement not to return to the factory or make any future demand on them. He registered at the Shanghai neighborhood and got his old jobs back. "When winter is at its coldest, spring cannot be far behind." He hoped that "the two of us should find a quiet spot in the countryside, have a small allotment, and live the simple life. This world no longer exists. We are grateful for Rao's story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hoffman Brauman

    When Rao Pingru's wife of almost 60 years passed away, he dealt with his grief through painting, writing and illustrating the story of their life together in this touching memoir of a marriage that spanned 6 decades in China. Reading this felt a lot like sitting with an older member of your family as they reminisce about their life and relationships. Touching read. When Rao Pingru's wife of almost 60 years passed away, he dealt with his grief through painting, writing and illustrating the story of their life together in this touching memoir of a marriage that spanned 6 decades in China. Reading this felt a lot like sitting with an older member of your family as they reminisce about their life and relationships. Touching read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    I haven’t read a graphic novel in ages, and I was missing them so I picked up Our Story, which follows Rao and his wife Meitang from their respective childhoods to when they got married. This isn’t like a traditional graphic novel, where the story is told through panels and dialogue bubbles. Instead, the story is told through written paragraphs, with illustrations on almost every page accompanying the story. I thought this method of storytelling was perfect for Rao’s story, as it allowed him to I haven’t read a graphic novel in ages, and I was missing them so I picked up Our Story, which follows Rao and his wife Meitang from their respective childhoods to when they got married. This isn’t like a traditional graphic novel, where the story is told through panels and dialogue bubbles. Instead, the story is told through written paragraphs, with illustrations on almost every page accompanying the story. I thought this method of storytelling was perfect for Rao’s story, as it allowed him to provide us with a lot of detail and gave the entire volume the feeling of a diary. Rao picked up drawing in his old age, yet the art that graces almost every page is absolutely gorgeous! I loved turning the page to see another whimsical illustration that is so clearly filled with love. Sadly, Rao passed away earlier this year, at the age of 98. His life is absolutely astounding, and I’m so happy he got to create this beautiful volume to share with the world. If you’re at all interested in modern Chinese history, or simply in a sweet family story, please check out this gorgeous book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is a totally different book from any I have ever read. It is a beautiful artifact. It is not bound like a regular western-style book, and I was intrigued the moment I picked it up at the library. There are lovely, simple illustrations on most pages, but again, not like the illustrations in most books. I loved that nearly every illustration has its own description and that each illustration includes Chinese characters (that are always translated). The author is the illustrator and he carefull This is a totally different book from any I have ever read. It is a beautiful artifact. It is not bound like a regular western-style book, and I was intrigued the moment I picked it up at the library. There are lovely, simple illustrations on most pages, but again, not like the illustrations in most books. I loved that nearly every illustration has its own description and that each illustration includes Chinese characters (that are always translated). The author is the illustrator and he carefully identifies all the people in each illustration. The pictures are simply wonderful and an integral part of the book. I lalso oved the photograph of the author and his wife as young people inside the front cover balanced by the author and his wife as old people inside the back cover The story is told by a man in his 80s looking back at life. He never really complains, but I think it must have often been a difficult life. He was born in China into a relatively well-off family and married into an affluent family. The picture of his family life is interesting and I found the personal details interesting and authentic. After the war and revolution, he was sent to work in the country as part of re-education – this lasted 20 years. I gained a new understanding of how regular people lived during this time. This is not a great writing, but the sincerity and the illustrations are real. It touched me deeply. I loved the simplicity of the book and the honesty with which he tells his story. Thank you to Devon for suggesting this book. I would never have found it otherwise.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dayna Smith

    A beautiful graphic autobiography about the love story of a Chinese couple. Rao's story follows his childhood and that of his future wife, Meitang. Born in 1922, the Rao's story parallels Chinese history from WWII to the present. His story is one of happiness and separation (he is sent to a "re-education" camp for more than a decade), struggles with poverty and finally reunification and the struggles with illness, old age, and death. The love of Pingru and his wife is obvious on every page. Rao A beautiful graphic autobiography about the love story of a Chinese couple. Rao's story follows his childhood and that of his future wife, Meitang. Born in 1922, the Rao's story parallels Chinese history from WWII to the present. His story is one of happiness and separation (he is sent to a "re-education" camp for more than a decade), struggles with poverty and finally reunification and the struggles with illness, old age, and death. The love of Pingru and his wife is obvious on every page. Rao painted the pictures in the book and they are lovely. A wonderful book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    the author wrote and painted this in his 90s as a tribute to his marriage. how sweet! it's just a simple story of a long term couple in China and how they kept their family together in very tough political times, but it's really touching and beautiful. the author wrote and painted this in his 90s as a tribute to his marriage. how sweet! it's just a simple story of a long term couple in China and how they kept their family together in very tough political times, but it's really touching and beautiful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wej

    I had high hopes for this book but I guess one should not judge a book by its cover (which in this case is fabulous). The book is a mix of a memoir and graphic novel telling a life story of Rao Pinru and his wife Meitang. If it was a memoir of a family member then it would deserve five stars, but as a publication aimed at general audience it failed to capture my attention. The author described his childhood in an affluent household, early adulthood marked by participation in the second Sino-Japa I had high hopes for this book but I guess one should not judge a book by its cover (which in this case is fabulous). The book is a mix of a memoir and graphic novel telling a life story of Rao Pinru and his wife Meitang. If it was a memoir of a family member then it would deserve five stars, but as a publication aimed at general audience it failed to capture my attention. The author described his childhood in an affluent household, early adulthood marked by participation in the second Sino-Japanese war as a Kuomintang soldier, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War, and PLA's victory. This was roughly the first part of the book but historical background was scarce. This period is presented as time to move from town to town, looking for work, and indulging in local food. Way too much time was spent describing what the author ate and when. These details initially seemed quite meaningless, but after reading that Rao Pingru spent over twenty years in a labour camp (due to Anti-Rightist Movement), it became clear that these memories were things that he could cherish during this dark period. From a personal perspective it is not surprising then that he glossed over his time in a labour camp, but I think that this is something that would give this book more meaning rather than it being mostly a personal story, devoid of any comments about the social/political situation in China. The second part of the book describes Rao's return to Shanghai to live with his family, and focuses on deteriorating health of his beloved wife and finishes with Meitang's death.

  11. 4 out of 5

    HY

    Love is so simple.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Portrayed through vibrant self-paintings, and personal reflection, the author recounts his life across Twentieth Century China. From poverty to good times, from bachelorhood to becoming a parent, his marriage, and his enlistment during the Japanese invasion. Rao aged in a China during unrivalled growth, cultural change and political upheaval. His simple story shares the perspectives of the average man's life, love and tragedy amongst this backdrop. For me, the unique quality of this book, was the Portrayed through vibrant self-paintings, and personal reflection, the author recounts his life across Twentieth Century China. From poverty to good times, from bachelorhood to becoming a parent, his marriage, and his enlistment during the Japanese invasion. Rao aged in a China during unrivalled growth, cultural change and political upheaval. His simple story shares the perspectives of the average man's life, love and tragedy amongst this backdrop. For me, the unique quality of this book, was the graphic memoir. That is was set during a significant period in China, remained personal, but managed to show the significant alterations in the politics and culture of China during this time. However, I still am sat on the fence with recommending this book. If you removed the images, I felt like this book, oftentimes, didn't have much to say. Rao, during the Japanese invasion, was the pinnacle of this book's interest. And there do remain moments, where we gain glimpses of significant changes in China, but you have to look for them amongst significant waffle. So much of the book is about a man reflecting on meals eaten, the types of food, and this runs into the tens of pages. Many times I was having flashbacks to the old people's home in the Simpsons.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    What a charming book. The author is a 95-year old man living in China. He tells the story of his life and marriage using words and his own paintings. I’m happy to have received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) because otherwise I probably never would have found this book. Unfortunately, since this is an ARC the paintings are in black and white. I’ll have to search out a published copy of the book just so that I can fully appreciate the paintings. They’re simple but they vividly illustrate events t What a charming book. The author is a 95-year old man living in China. He tells the story of his life and marriage using words and his own paintings. I’m happy to have received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) because otherwise I probably never would have found this book. Unfortunately, since this is an ARC the paintings are in black and white. I’ll have to search out a published copy of the book just so that I can fully appreciate the paintings. They’re simple but they vividly illustrate events throughout his life. I can only imagine how colorful the paintings might be. Rao and Meitang had an arranged marriage but it’s clear that they loved each other from the start and had a happy life together. Although their circumstances went from easy prosperity to barely being able to scrape by, Rao’s telling of their story makes it seem like they were always able to find little pleasures in life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    A beautiful and unique tale told in a beautiful and unique format. The simplicity of Rao's narration undelines the depth and complexity of a love story told across 60 years of cultural and economic transition. The illustrations are universally beautiful and the sentences occasionally heartbreaking in their honesty and directness. Would that we could all review our life with the same poise and clarity. A beautiful and unique tale told in a beautiful and unique format. The simplicity of Rao's narration undelines the depth and complexity of a love story told across 60 years of cultural and economic transition. The illustrations are universally beautiful and the sentences occasionally heartbreaking in their honesty and directness. Would that we could all review our life with the same poise and clarity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victor The Reader

    Rao Pingru’s memoir of he and his wife Meitang’s story which goes back nearly 90 years ago in China 🇨🇳 is as moving and emotional as his beautiful paintwork. Starting from their first meeting as children, we follow them as they grow not just as adults, but their love story as they encounter drama, turmoil and personal issues. This is an amazing love story that many more readers must read for its narrative, paintings and history (Grade: A).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Abbey (The Open Bookshelf)

    I'm probably biased, having read so many Cultural Revolution generation stories, but I didn't enjoy this one. The idea of Rao Pingru's tribute to his wife was lovely, but the story centred so much on him and so little on her, it came across more as work of patriarchal vanity than a work of love. But that's only my opinion, others will no doubt enjoy this as a gentle introduction to China's modern history. I'm probably biased, having read so many Cultural Revolution generation stories, but I didn't enjoy this one. The idea of Rao Pingru's tribute to his wife was lovely, but the story centred so much on him and so little on her, it came across more as work of patriarchal vanity than a work of love. But that's only my opinion, others will no doubt enjoy this as a gentle introduction to China's modern history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. You can feel that this book is a true dedication of love to his much-missed wife and adding his own paintings help illustrate his life throughout the book. This book was an easy read with not as much text as the size of the book would make you think and it was an interesting view into Pingru's life in China from WWII into the 21st century. I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. You can feel that this book is a true dedication of love to his much-missed wife and adding his own paintings help illustrate his life throughout the book. This book was an easy read with not as much text as the size of the book would make you think and it was an interesting view into Pingru's life in China from WWII into the 21st century.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cj Rey

    I found this beautiful book at Foyles in London. This memoir is frank tale of of a couple who get married in China in 1948. The accompanying illustrations by the author make this book memorable and tender.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    I really wanted to like this memoir—and I did love the adorable illustrations—but the writing and narrative was just too dry. I never felt like I got any insight into either person’s inner life, this was basically a strictly chronological timeline of a relationship.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    One of the best books that I have ever read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Zeng

    Got teary eyed many many times.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chang Garcia

    Beautiful story and book

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Jones

    This illustrated autobiography is quietly beautiful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Massimina Ferny

    I read this book firstly because (i) it has many beautiful drawings and (ii) my Prime Minister was reading it and tweeted about it, and hundreds like me decided to jump on the bandwagon and I waited for this a few months! Wonderful real-life love story, and most interestingly, the writer had written it for himself to honour his late wife and only recently, when his granddaughter posted some parts of it online and it went viral, and it was then picked up for publication. Such an honour to become a I read this book firstly because (i) it has many beautiful drawings and (ii) my Prime Minister was reading it and tweeted about it, and hundreds like me decided to jump on the bandwagon and I waited for this a few months! Wonderful real-life love story, and most interestingly, the writer had written it for himself to honour his late wife and only recently, when his granddaughter posted some parts of it online and it went viral, and it was then picked up for publication. Such an honour to become a bestselling author in old age! And it's popularity is due to the shared history of many Chinese of that generation--reeducation through labour and the ensuing separation from their families - in Rao's case for 22 years...

  25. 5 out of 5

    P.J. Benney

    Really interesting, covers a lot of subjects and a huge span of time. Very enlightening for this reader who knows nothing about China or its history. Illustrations are charming and the book itself is a really nice publication, good coffee table book. You will enjoy flipping through it or reading it cover to cover. Only two points of note - this is billed as an epic romance on the back cover but I didn't really get that from the book at all. Secondly the letters included at the back of the book w Really interesting, covers a lot of subjects and a huge span of time. Very enlightening for this reader who knows nothing about China or its history. Illustrations are charming and the book itself is a really nice publication, good coffee table book. You will enjoy flipping through it or reading it cover to cover. Only two points of note - this is billed as an epic romance on the back cover but I didn't really get that from the book at all. Secondly the letters included at the back of the book were incredibly mundane and didn't really add much imo. But overall an amazing book and well worth a read. Rao has created something unique here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pierre

    I am at a loss for words . This book covers a period of China’s history that encompasses invasion, revolution, civil war, cultural revolution, internment, etc. Unfortunately, all the author focuses on is what they ate when he was a child, what they ate when he was a student, what they ate before the Japanese invasion, what they ate in the army, after the Japanese left, before, during and after the revolution, what he and his family ate while he was in a re-education camp for 20 years and after h I am at a loss for words . This book covers a period of China’s history that encompasses invasion, revolution, civil war, cultural revolution, internment, etc. Unfortunately, all the author focuses on is what they ate when he was a child, what they ate when he was a student, what they ate before the Japanese invasion, what they ate in the army, after the Japanese left, before, during and after the revolution, what he and his family ate while he was in a re-education camp for 20 years and after he came back during the modernization, and on and on and on! Not a social or introspective comment to be found, just get a good Chinese cookbook and read it, at least you’ll learn something!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert A.

    I took my time with this book due to its detail and essentially having a lifetime between its covers. It is a memoir of the husband of a couple in China that endured the early twentieth century to 2008. It's written in a straightforward simple manner which is definitely necessary for its level of detail. This also helps with the names of people that surrounded them and that came and went throughout their life together. A scene on a bridge near the beginning made me feel a twinge of nostalgia for I took my time with this book due to its detail and essentially having a lifetime between its covers. It is a memoir of the husband of a couple in China that endured the early twentieth century to 2008. It's written in a straightforward simple manner which is definitely necessary for its level of detail. This also helps with the names of people that surrounded them and that came and went throughout their life together. A scene on a bridge near the beginning made me feel a twinge of nostalgia for Pingru's memories concerning it. This book is engaging and packs a punch. I would definitely recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    qqbear

    Intimately and candidly written, Rao Pingru illustrates with both his prose and paintbrush his life and love story, in tribute to his wife who passed away from Alzheimer's in 2008. Discovering that he himself had passed away earlier this year in April 2020, made me feel like I had lost a good friend I just got to know. A real gem. Intimately and candidly written, Rao Pingru illustrates with both his prose and paintbrush his life and love story, in tribute to his wife who passed away from Alzheimer's in 2008. Discovering that he himself had passed away earlier this year in April 2020, made me feel like I had lost a good friend I just got to know. A real gem.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    From the Christian Science Monitor's 10 Best Books of May 2018 list: "The story begins with the author's childhood in the 1930s and ends in the 2000s. The book was a bestseller in China, and the English translation will offer Western readers unexpected insights into Chinese culture. From the Christian Science Monitor's 10 Best Books of May 2018 list: "The story begins with the author's childhood in the 1930s and ends in the 2000s. The book was a bestseller in China, and the English translation will offer Western readers unexpected insights into Chinese culture.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ayesha Pierpoint

    Took me a while to get in to because of the language used, either because the author is using a second language or because of translation. I enjoyed it though. I don't know a lot about Chinese culture and the lives of ordinary people and enjoyed reading about it. Took me a while to get in to because of the language used, either because the author is using a second language or because of translation. I enjoyed it though. I don't know a lot about Chinese culture and the lives of ordinary people and enjoyed reading about it.

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