by Tania Branigan
Shortlisted for the 2023 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction
Longlisted for the 2023 Cundill History Prize
Longlisted for the 2023 Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction
An indelible exploration of the invisible scar that runs through the heart of Chinese society and the souls of its citizens.
“It is impossible to understand China today without understanding the Cultural Revolution,” Tania Branigan writes. During this decade of Maoist fanaticism between 1966 and 1976, children turned on parents, students condemned teachers, and as many as two million people died for their supposed political sins, while tens of millions were hounded, ostracized, and imprisoned. Yet in China this brutal and turbulent period exists, for the most part, as an absence; official suppression and personal trauma have conspired in national amnesia.