15 March 2009

China Witness

China Witness: Voices from a Silent GenerationChina Witness is an interesting new book of interviews with older Chinese, usually in the 70s, about their lives in China. It's fascinating to read about their experiences, and nice to have such a variety gathered in one place.

I completely agree with the NY Times review that it can be slow going in places and some editing wouldn't have been a problem, and with the breathless Oprah-style questions. The author, Xinran, came through too clearly for me and I was more interested in the interviewees. (Maybe it's something with people who go by one name.)

It's a good book, and worth reading, although maybe not straight through. More books like this would be great. I'd love to see one from the point of view of various minorities in China.


  1. That one sounds good, too. I'll have to see if I can find a copy to dip in and out of.

  2. Did you read "The Good Women of China"? Is it similar in structure and style? It's an interesting and valuable topic. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy soon.

  3. I haven't read The Good Women of China, but I think I might like to.