Peking: A Novel of Chinas Revolution 1921-1978

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9780316328234: Peking: A Novel of Chinas Revolution 1921-1978
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To a China racked by famine and bloody civil war in the 1930s, a young English-born missionary, Jakob Kellner, brings all the crusading passion of his untried Christian faith. He burns to save the world's largest nation from Communism. But on the Long March, amidst horror and despair too great for Christianity to salve, Jakob becomes entangled with Mei-ling, a beautiful and fervent revolutionary. Powerful new emotions challenge and reshape his faith -- and entrap him for life in that vast country's tortured destiny.

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About the Author:

Anthony Grey became a foreign correspondent with Reuters after beginning a career in journalism in Norfolk where he was born and educated. He later covered the Cold War from East Berlin before being assigned to China. The only British journalist then resident in the Chinese capital, he became the focus of worldwide headlines in mid-1967 at the height of the Cultural Revolution, when he was siezed as a hostage by Mao Tse-tungs's Red Guards. Held in solitary confinement for two years, he became the most publicised prisoner of the Cold War era, and the first western political hostage of modern times. Following the ordeal, he went on to establish himself as a radio and televsion broadcaster and a best-selling international historical novelist (Saigon, Peking, Tokyo Bay) focussing particularly on the Far East.

From Publishers Weekly:

Although titled Peking, this historical epic about China from the 1930s to the 1970s might more aptly have been called "The Long March": it recounts the legendary Long March of the Chinese Communists in flight from their foes in the '30s, and the "continuation" of the march during the more turbulent moments of Mao Tse-tung's rule. In 1934, Jakob Kellner, a British missionary, his American wife and their child are captured by Chinese Communists who set upon their rural mission. Kellner's wife is ruthlessly executed, his infant sent into hiding with a servant, and Kellner himself, his faith severely tested, forced to march for weeks in ragged clothes through awful weather with his captives. On the march, he is briefly united with Lu Mei-ling, a Chinese woman he met on his voyage to Shanghai. Mei-ling secretly takes care of his daughter and has a brief affair with him on the harsh journey. In the years following the Communist triumph, Kellner returns to China at times of crisis as a China watcher. Eventually, he introduces his grown daughter to the land and to the Chinese woman he loved and left behind. Grey (Saigon) has done a thorough job of conveying the cruelty of wholesale torture, privation and slaughter that accompanied the struggle between the Communists and the Kuomintang during the '30s. His depiction of the troubles during the "Hundred Flowers" purge of the '50s and the Cultural Revolution of the '60s, while instructive, stretches the novel farther than it will comfortably go.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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