Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 8, 2020

Inconvenient Memories, by Anna Wang


Responses

  1. This is very interesting. I visited Beijing for the first time just after Tiananmen Square, as a student on my way to Japan, and there was a very strange atmosphere hanging over the city – the hotels were empty, there were very few foreigners (I was allowed there because I came from then still-Communist Romania).

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    • That *is* an interesting experience. Did they let you do touristy things?

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      • Some things were closed and you couldn’t pass through Tiananmen on foot at all (the buses didn’t even stop there), but yes, I saw some of the tourist sites.

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  2. This sounds like something I’d like… I read Ma Jian’s Beijing Coma, which is a novel about the student protests and the subsequent massacre, and it’s a damning portrait of the powers that be and Chinese society as a whole, but I’ve not seen any biographies / true accounts about this era for obvious reasons: the State denies it ever happened. Indeed, when I went to China in 2010 I was warned not to Google Tiananmen Square or to discuss it with anyone while there because bad things might happen to me!

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    • It did cross my mind that by publishing this review and others about China, I might be denied a visa if I ever wanted to go there…

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  3. My impression of your review was that Wang was an unreliable witness, and in this context with a tendency to say what would suit the audience in her new home. Nevertheless, it is valuable as a first hand account of the times.

    I think it is going to takes us all a very long time, generations, to get used to living with such a large centrally controlled state. And one which is happy to take advantage of our own freedoms to purchase advantageous positions here while denying us reciprocal freedoms in China.

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    • I didn’t mean to give that impression… she is writing about when she was young, and I think she shows well how she came to see things differently as time went by.

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