At the height of Chinas Cultural Revolution a powerful general fathered two sons. Tan was born to the generals wife and into a life of comfort and luxury. His half brother, Shento, was born to the generals mistress, who threw herself off a cliff in the mountains of Balan only moments after delivering her child. Growing up, each remained ignorant of the others existence. In Beijing, Tan enjoyed the best schools, the finest clothes, and the prettiest girls. Shento was raised on the mountainside by an old healer and his wife until their deaths landed him in an orphanage, where he was always hungry, alone, and frightened. Though on divergent roads, each brother is driven by a passionate desireone to glorify his father, the other to seek revenge against him.
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"Chen deftly blends pathos and humor in this breathtaking evocation of an era of momentous political, social, and economic change." - Booklist.
"Chen's inventive and sprawling family saga eloquently recreates a time of enormous upheaval." - PW.
"Starred review. Often melodramatic, but Da Chen's sweeping tale, reminiscent of Zhang Yimou's film To Live, successfully transports Chinese conventions into English to recount the agony of history." - Kirkus.
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Da Chen grew up in the deep south of China, running barefoot in muddy fields and riding the backs of water buffaloes. As the grandson of a disgraced landowner, he was a victim of communist political persecution and hollowing poverty during the Cultural Revolution. His family was beaten, his father thrown in reform camp, and young Chen, at the age of nine, was threatened with imprisonment.
Da arrived in America at the age of 23 with $30 in his pocket, a bamboo flute, and a heart filled with hope. He attended Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship, and upon graduating, worked for the Wall Street investment banking firm of Rothschilds, Inc.
Da has published two memoirs (with one adapted for children as well) and four novels, two for children. In addition to writing, Da is...
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