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Colors of the Mountain

Chen, Da

2,170 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375502882 / ISBN 13: 9780375502880
Published by Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 2000
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED 1st edition, 1st printing Hardcover. Signed on first title page in chinese lettering with a red chinese stamp next to the signature. New Book. Never read. PERFECT CONDITION. For the serious collector. Bookseller Inventory # 000128

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Colors of the Mountain

Publisher: Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

"I was born in southern China in 1962, in the tiny town of Yellow Stone. They called it the Year of Great Starvation."

In 1962, as millions of Chinese citizens were gripped by Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards enforced a brutal regime of communism, a boy was born to a poor family in southern China. This family—the Chens—had once been respected landlords in the village of Yellow Stone, but now they were among the least fortunate families in the country, despised for their "capitalist" past. Grandpa Chen couldn't leave the house for fear of being beaten to death; the children were spit upon in the street; and their father was regularly hauled off to labor camps, leaving the family of eight without a breadwinner. Da Chen, the youngest child, seemed destined for a life of poverty, shame, and hunger.

But winning humor and an indomitable spirit can be found in the most unexpected places. Colors of the Mountain is a story of triumph, a memoir of a boyhood full of spunk, mischief, and love. The young Da Chen is part Horatio Alger, part Holden Caul-field; he befriends a gang of young hoodlums as well as the elegant, elderly Chinese Baptist woman who teaches him English and opens the door to a new life. Chen's remarkable story is full of unforgettable scenes of rural Chinese life: feasting on oysters and fried peanuts on New Year's Day, studying alongside classmates who wear red armbands and quote Mao, and playing and working in the peaceful rice fields near his village.

Da Chen's story is both captivating and endearing, filled with the universal human quality that distinguishes the very best memoirs. It proves once again that the concerns of childhood transcend time and place.

Review:

Now a writer living in New York, Da Chen describes his youth in mainland China with engaging humor and affecting warmth. It's often a harrowing tale: born in 1962, Chen was the grandson of a landlord, which rendered his entire family pariahs during the Cultural Revolution. And though initially an excellent student, he was ostracized in school and told he could never attend college. He responded by making friends with a group of young thugs who drank, smoked, and gambled but were kind to him. After Mao died in 1976, the budding juvenile delinquent discovered that higher education might be available to him after all. Chen worked hard to make up for years of neglected studies, and his memoir closes with a jubilant scene as he and his brother Jin are both accepted into college; for his suffering family, "thirty years of humiliation had suddenly come to an end." Chen's lucid yet emotional prose unsparingly portrays a topsy-turvy society where unfairness reigns and the rules are arbitrarily changed without warning, but his zest for life and sharp eye for character make even the most awful moments grimly funny. This is no saga of victimization, but a thrilling account of an ordeal that fosters spiritual growth. Readers will cheer Chen's triumph over daunting odds. --Wendy Smith

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