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Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Wondering about life outside of the conformist region of Xinjiang during the darkest period of the Cultural Revolution, twelve-year-old Love Liu is inspired by a Shanghai teacher to learn English but finds his survival threatened by the atmosphere of suspicion and repression that marks his home.

Blackwell North Amer
During the darkest days of the Cultural Revolution, a twelve-year-old boy named Love Liu wonders what life is like beyond the region of Xinjiang in Chinas remote northwest. Here, conformity is valued above all else, and suspicion governs every exchange among neighbors, classmates, and even friends. Into this stifling atmosphere comes a tall, clean-shaven teacher from Shanghai, with an elegant gray wool jacket and an English dictionary tucked under his arm.
With the dictionary at his disposal, Love Liu throws himself into learning English, and a whole new world opens up for him. But in an atmosphere of accusation and recrimination, one in which the teacher is deemed morally suspect and mere innuendo can cost someone his life, Love Lius ideals face a test more challenging than any hell meet in the classroom.

Baker
& Taylor

Young Love Liu, who wonders about life outside of the conformist region of Xinjiang during the Cultural Revolution, is inspired by a teacher to learn English but finds his survival threatened by the atmosphere of suspicion and repression that marks his home.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009
ISBN: 9780670020591
0670020591
Characteristics: 313 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Pan, Jane Weizhen
Merz, Jörg Martin

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wallyb
Nov 21, 2011

Interesting novel/memoir of a Uighur boy growing up in Western China during the Cultural Revolution. The political pressure to conform is intense, and affects everyone in his village: parents, neighbors, teachers, other students. Repeatedly disappointed by his social-climbing architect parents, the boy attaches himself to his English teacher, a cosmopolitan young man from Shanghai whose greatest possession is a coveted English dictionary.

Interesting book, and a huge seller in China, even though (or maybe because) it discusses events during the Cultural Revolution. The characters are all clearly drawn, but the plot, such as it is, wanders around to the point where one wonders where this will all end. Told from the perspective of the boy in his older years, it doesn't really have much appeal for teen readers, but would make a great book group title.

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