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Colours of the Mountain by Da Chen

Colours of the Mountain (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Da Chen (Author)

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4201138,028 (3.8)12
Title:Colours of the Mountain
Authors:Da Chen (Author)
Info:Arrow/Children's (a Division of Random House (2000), 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Colors of the Mountain by Da Chen (1999)


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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Da Chen - you added colour to the grey world of Mao.

A memoir giving fascinating insight into the changes in rural China during and after Mao's reign. The story flows well and couples with the aspects of life that appear unique to western readers but were commonplace to tens of millions of Chinese. With new and breathtaking subject matter it is difficult to be objective about the writing. The irresistible rythm seemed to drop off in the last quarter and loses the fifth star from this reviewer. ( )
  Ruby_Barnes | Aug 25, 2011 |
This autobiographical account of growing up during the cultural revolution is much more "human" than many others of this genre. ( )
  theodote | Jan 6, 2009 |
An engaging description of the life of a young boy during Mao's Cultural Revolution. My college adopted this book for our common reading for our incoming Fall 2008 class and the author, Da Chen, spoke to the students during opening weekend. He is a charming and entertaining speaker and the students were very receptive. I was impressed by how much the 18 year old men that I spoke to were engaged by the book. Several self admittedly "non-readers" said they couldn't put the book down and they felt that reading the book impacted them in a positive way. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to young adults or teenagers. ( )
1 vote lhager | Aug 24, 2008 |
Story of a landlords son growing up during the cultural revolution. Not an easy life to lead! Will open up your eyes to how hard the Chinese will work to be able to have schooling -- and show you how easy our kids have it in America. It's almost shameful. A good read - check it out of the library. ( )
  autumnesf | May 20, 2008 |
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To Grandpa, for your smiling eyes;
to Grandma, for your big feeding spoon.
To my mother: you are all things beautiful;
and my father: you are forever.
First words
I was born in southern China in 1962, in the tiny town of Yellow Stone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385720602, Paperback)

Now a writer living in New York, Da Chen describes his youth in mainland China with engaging humor and affecting warmth. It's often a harrowing tale: born in 1962, Chen was the grandson of a landlord, which rendered his entire family pariahs during the Cultural Revolution. And though initially an excellent student, he was ostracized in school and told he could never attend college. He responded by making friends with a group of young thugs who drank, smoked, and gambled but were kind to him. After Mao died in 1976, the budding juvenile delinquent discovered that higher education might be available to him after all. Chen worked hard to make up for years of neglected studies, and his memoir closes with a jubilant scene as he and his brother Jin are both accepted into college; for his suffering family, "thirty years of humiliation had suddenly come to an end." Chen's lucid yet emotional prose unsparingly portrays a topsy-turvy society where unfairness reigns and the rules are arbitrarily changed without warning, but his zest for life and sharp eye for character make even the most awful moments grimly funny. This is no saga of victimization, but a thrilling account of an ordeal that fosters spiritual growth. Readers will cheer Chen's triumph over daunting odds. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A Chinese American lawyer shares his memories of growing up in rural China during Mao's Cultural Revolution, describing how he struggled to overcome persecution and adversity to achieve an education, both in China and the United States. Colors of the Mountain is a classic story of triumph over adversity, a memoir of a boyhood full of spunk, mischief, and love, and a welcome introduction to an amazing young writer. Da Chen was born in 1962, in the Year of Great Starvation. Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution engulfed millions of Chinese citizens, and the Red Guard enforced Mao's brutal communist regime. Chen's family belonged to the despised landlord class, and his father and grandfather were routinely beaten and sent to labor camps, the family of eight left without a breadwinner. Despite this background of poverty and danger, Da Chen grows up to be resilient, tough, and funny, learning how to defend himself and how to work toward his future. By the final pages of his memoir, when he says his last goodbyes to his father and boards the bus to Beijing to attend college, Da Chen has become a hopeful man astonishing in his resilience and cheerful strength. A story about suppression, humiliation, vindication and, ultimately, triumph. The New York Times Book Review. A defiantly happy book, big-hearted and sincere. Newsweek. Da Chen has written a remarkable coming-of-age memoir filled with humiliation, revenge, vindication, and ultimately, pride....A book of great dignity. Lisa See. A personal story that is crafted with dignity and literary skill....The narrative voice is clean, spare, precise, often cheerfully poetic, with deft little flashes of imagery coming as surprises. The Baltimore Sun. Vibrant....A rich account....We cannot help but rejoice with him. Richmond Times-Dispatch.… (more)

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