SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 17, 2017 — Author Wei Yang Chao was a witness to an epic revolution. His memoir Red Fire, Growing Up During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, published in April, has climbed to the top of the Amazon Best Sellers List in history and biography sections, drawing readers into events that displaced millions in China.
On August 18, 1966, Chao was a teen in Beijing, standing in Tiananmen Square watching millions of Red Guards gathered before Mao Zedong, who urged them to denounce enemies of progress. This sparked a decade of violence and social disorder, as the Cultural Revolution blazed across China.
Red Fire is an unprecedented and intimate account told by Chao’s keen-eyed younger self. He struggles to make sense of turmoil, asking questions still important in 2017. How do children cope in revolution? How do people surrender themselves to ideological frenzy? How does one break free? He witnesses the disintegration of his parents’ lives as tolerance and freedom crumble and he is exiled to work on cooperative farms. Chao tells a riveting story: how rebels attacked and publicly humiliated his family, upended his education, and how he endured cruelty and hardship in an unrecognizable China. Red Fire is more than a memoir of survival. Chao offers a story of resilience and hope through his insight as a grown man looking back half a century, to understand that turbulent era.
Jasmin Darznik, New York Times Best Selling Author of the memoir The Good Daughter says, “In Red Fire we travel alongside the young narrator and share his excitement, bewilderment, and rage, and by the end of the book we are forced to recognize that this is one of the greatest gifts literature can provide us: to recover a lost but living world. It’s an unforgettable historical testimony.”
Red Fire is a reflection of youth in a time of stunning chaos, a rare and timely story, told with real force and heartbreaking honesty.
Format and Purchase Details
Red Fire is available in bookstores and on Amazon in paperback or Kindle eBook (336 pp) in English. ISBN: 978-0998196015. The direct link to get Red Fire is: http://getBook.at/RedFire
“A deeply satisfying book…the arc of this engrossing journey should transport readers to China, turning them into eyewitnesses to these turbulent events.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Red Fire deserves a place on the reading shelf of any political or social issues reader.”—Midwest Book Review
Wei Yang Chao, born in Guangzhou in southeastern China, moved with his family to Beijing in 1965, on the eve of the Cultural Revolution. In the aftermath he worked as a translator and tour guide, speaking Mandarin, Cantonese and English. In 1981 Chao came to America to study at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received both his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees. He later obtained engineering training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and pursued a career in innovative business technology, founding one of China’s “Top 100” e-Business and Internet companies, serving as Chairman/CEO for sixteen years. Now a naturalized U.S. citizen, he lives in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Beijing, working to promote cultural understanding and exchange between China and the United States. The author of many books and articles in Chinese about technology and culture; Red Fire is his first major publication in English.
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SOURCE Wei Yang Chao