Urgent and timeless, Legacies brings us closer than we have ever been to penetrating the great conundrum of China m the twentieth century. It could only have been written by Bette Bao Lord -- born in China, raised in America, author of the bestselling novel Spring Moon, wife of a former American ambassador to China, resident in Beijing during the "China Spring" of 1989. Lord's unique web of relationships and her sensitive insight have enabled her to observe Chinese life both high and low, Communist and dissident, intellectual and ordinary.
Lord interweaves her own story, and that of her clansmen, with the voices of men and women who recall the tumultuous experience of the last fifty years, and the legacy of the Cultural Revolution. In precise, subtle prose, Lord explores the reality of Red Guards and reeducation camps, of friends and families severed by political disgrace, and captures the individual voices of those caught up in them: the seven-year-old girl with a heart full of hate for her father; the journalist whose girlfriend believes the Party newspapers, not him; the imprisoned scholar who hid his writings in his quilt for years; the anti-revolutionary who tells his bitter story in a vein of high farce. All bear heartbreaking witness to the surreal quality of Chinese society today -- and to the astonishing resilience, humor, and heroic equanimity of the Chinese spirit.
"Powerful... Anyone who cares about china must read this book.... Bette Bao Lord writes with compelling elegance and grace."
-- The Boston Globe
"Legacies is an important book. Because the Chinese can no longer tell their own stories, these accounts are all the more necessary to remind the world of the horrors of unchecked political power."
-- The Washington Post Book World
"Brilliant and terrifying ... Lord unmasks contemporary China and elucidates the cruel promise of China Spring. The novelist bears witness to China's struggle from an extraordinary perspective.... This eloquent book's power to give hope to the Chinese people depends on the steady gaze of Americans and others with the not-so-simple freedom to read its message inked in blood."
-- USA Today
"Extraordinary ... Endlessly fascinating, original and deeply tragic."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer
"A vivid and startling mosaic of the political struggles that foreshadowed the Tiananmen Square uprising."