Confessions of a Red Guard
A Chinese Novelist Recounts His Experiences During China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Translated by Howard Goldblatt
Forward by John C. Ma
2018, 342 pages • map • photos • index
ISBN 978-1-937385-75-0 Paper $25.00
ISBN 978-1-937385-78-1 Cloth $55.00
Unlike other accounts of the Cultural Revolution, novelist Liang Xiaosheng’s Confessions of a Red Guard relates minor, intensely personal incidents affecting ordinary people during this extraordinary historical period. In the author’s odyssey as a young Red Guard, he is witness to public humiliations of “counterrevolutionaries,” real and imagined; a sex murder and the culprit’s execution; a budding romance in a most unlikely place; stolen pleasures with forbidden books; the ecstasies and personal sacrifices surrounding a glimpse of Chairman Mao at Tiananmen Square; and a host of small ironies of life during a revolutionary movement.
The evocatively youthful dialogue and commonplace images, some extremely violent, others curiously tender, combine to make this memoir an engrossing read and constitutes a major addition to the literature of China’s darkest era. First published in 1989, it is here translated into English for the first time.