sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
sophia_sol ([personal profile] sophia_sol) wrote2017-05-10 07:43 pm

Ten Years A Peasant - Memories of Libeishang, by Xia Jianfeng, translated by Sushu and John

A self-published memoir about a man's experience as a sent-down youth during the Cultural Revolution in China, translated by his children and posted to tumblr one chapter at a time over the last two and a half years. I think I've been reading it since nearly the beginning of that time! It's weird to think it's actually over and I won't be getting any more semi-regular updates on out-of-date rural Chinese farming techniques and the like.

This was a fascinating book and I loved following along over the last couple years. The author talks a lot about the facts of his life and not much about the emotions or the personal side of things, but given how little I knew about village life in China, or about the experiences of the sent-down youth, I didn't mind, as it was all very interesting.

I gather that Xia Jianfeng's experiences as a sent-down youth were more positive than many - the village he was sent to was relatively prosperous as these things go, and he seems to have adapted well to his new life. It would be interesting to also read the perspective of a sent-down youth who had a more difficult experience.

At any rate I'm very glad that this guy and his kids decided to share his story with the internet. And you too can read the book if you want to at the tumblr tenyearsapeasant.