Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Lake with No Name

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Lake with No Name

A True Story of Love and Conflict in Modern China

By Diane Wei Liang

Lake with No Name
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  • Paperback: Jun 2009,
    320 pages.

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Chinese Propaganda Posters
At one point in Lake with No Name, Diane Wei Liang recounts her harrowing childhood experience bringing cabbage in from the frost, a yearly event that all the children at the collective had to participate in to demonstrate their strength and patriotism. Liang describes becoming ill with fever after carrying damp, cold cabbages for hours, and then listening to the radio announcers praise the heroic efforts of the peasantry in preserving the winter crop. As miserable as this task was in reality, it would have made the ideal subject for a Chinese propaganda poster, the state-sponsored artwork that dominated the Chinese cultural landscape until the late 20th century.

From the late 1940s through the 1980s, the Chinese Communist Party commissioned and approved a vast array of posters aimed at instructing the populace on everything from how to properly practice socialism and resist counterrevolutionaries to how to exterminate vermin and regulate fertility. ...

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