By Fengxian Chu
With Charlene Chu
For nearly two decades, this manuscript lay hidden in a Chinese bank vault until a long-lost cousin from America inspired 92-year-old author Fengxian Chu to unearth it.
“Song of Praise for a Flower” traces a century of Chinese history through the experiences of one woman and her family, from the dark years of World War II and China’s civil war to the tragic Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and beyond. It is a window into a faraway world, a sweeping epic about China’s tumultuous transformation and a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting story of a remarkable woman who survives it all and finally finds peace and tranquility.
Chu’s story begins in the 1920s in an idyllic home in the heart of China’s rice country. Her life is a struggle from the start. At a young age, she defies foot-binding and an arranged marriage and sneaks away from home to attend school. Her young adulthood is thrown into turmoil when the Japanese invade and ransack her village. Later her family is driven to starvation when Mao Zedong’s Communist Party seizes power and her husband is branded a ‘bad element.’
After Mao’s death in the 1970s, as China picks up the pieces and moves in a new direction, Chu eventually finds herself in a glittering city on the sea adjacent to Hong Kong, worlds away in both culture and time from the place she came from.
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 2 – PG
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Most westerners know little about China's history, the story of the country's transition into and out of communism, or the historical struggle of Chinese women. This memoir, originally authored by my cousin Fengxian Chu in Chinese and written into English by myself, is a powerful living history that brings the last 100 years in China to life. I felt compelled to bring this manuscript, which lay locked in darkness in a bank vault for nearly two decades, to light, and to give a voice to my cousin's harrowing but triumphant story.
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About the Author
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