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Book Title: Getting Used to Dying|
The author of the book: Zhang Xianliang
Date of issue: January 1st 1991
ISBN 13: 9780060165215
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 567 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.1
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An intriguing and intimate story of a Chinese poet/intellectual who spent extended periods of time in and out of labour reform camps in the years leading up to the Cultural Revolution.
"It's all getting into bed here, getting out of a grave there" is how the writer in the final pages humorously refers to the book he is writing, which is clearly semi-autobiographical, and yes, sex and death are the persistent obsessions and entwined dominant themes but by no means the most interesting aspect of this story for me. It was the well-described historical context, the poetic prose and perfectly observed sentences that held my attention. The writing is refreshing. Considering the subject matter there are many laugh out loud moments.
I learned about the damaging effects of centralised control on the individual human psyche and personal relationships as played out in Communist China, while also recognising myself in some of his his deeper reflections of life and it's essential struggles. I enjoyed the rare experience of reading a contemporary Chinese novel.
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Read information about the authorZhang Xianliang (Chinese: 张贤亮; December 1936 – 27 September 2014) was a Chinese author and poet, and former president of the China Writer Association in Ningxia. He was detained as a political prisoner during the Anti-Rightist Movement in 1957, until his political rehabilitation in 1979. His most well known works, including Half of Man is Woman and Grass Soup, were semi-autobiographical reflections on his life experiences in prison and in witnessing the political upheaval of China during the Cultural Revolution.
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