BookBrowse Reviews Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li

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Snow Falling in Spring

Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution

by Moying Li

Snow Falling in Spring
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2008, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2010, 192 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Li's restrained and elegiac memoir of a childhood savagely interrupted, a family bruised but unbowed, and tattered dreams realized will fascinate and enlighten readers young and old

Li reconstructs her childhood and girlhood through a series of fragile and powerful vignettes: Fragile because the pre-revolutionary China that informs her values and shapes her childhood is obliterated before she is old enough to take her place within it; powerful because Li's family's suffers cruelties so arbitrary that they are almost surreal, and are threatened by a savagery wholly indifferent to the familial or the personal.

The brutal ironies commence with the Great Leap Forward: Li's family and neighbors eagerly relinquish pots, pans and metal objects to Li's father's homemade brick furnace – until they realize that they don't know how to make iron or steel. Then in 1959 comes the government-ordered eradication of sparrows: Li's family and neighbors enthusiastically shoot the birds or drive them off by banging pots and pans. Li's family is happy and ...

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