Monday, January 16, 2017

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Do Not Say We Have Nothing
by Madeleine Thien

This book was on the longlist for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. It has so many different layers to fall in love with, while giving the reader a feel for China during both the Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao and the occupation of Tiananmen Square. A passion for classical music can be felt through the pages, as it propelled Swallow during a time when loving anything more than Chairman Mao & the Revolution was considered a betrayal. Families and individuals were relocated, and teachers and other former leaders were harassed, attacked, tortured, shamed, and sometimes killed: punished for being told they needed to be scorned for having thought too much of themselves. Swallow’s daughter was caught up in the Tiananmen Square occupation, which began when three scholars presented themselves on their knees in the square, holding up a paper for the government to read. Beyond a passion for music and the information about what those times were like in China, this is an insightful glimpse into what drives each of us, whether it’s a love for math, literature, music, or others.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie.] [ official Do Not Say We Have Nothing Tumblr page ] | [ official Madeleine Thien web site ]

Recommended by Jodi R.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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