A Book of Changes

A Book of Changes

by Krystyna Horko

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Overview

In the summer of 1989 Melissa is in London, gripped by events in Tiananmen Square. They trigger memories of a time thirteen years earlier, when as a former hippie-turned-pseudo-Maoist, she obtained a scholarship to China.

Although 1976 is an eventful year (the Tangshan earthquake, Mao’s death and the campaign against the so-called Gang of Four), it is a disappointment to her and shatters her flimsy ideals. The foreign students are segregated from the Chinese; classes are rigid and dull. Even her roommate spouts only empty propaganda.

Melissa leaves for Hong Kong the following summer but returns a year later when it becomes clear that things are moving on the mainland. Now in 1978 change is palpable, and nowhere more so than in Peking’s Xidan intersection that November, where a poster-covered wall has been nicknamed Democracy Wall. Here Melissa meet a young activist called Jianguo and they start an illicit affair.

Ten years later she realizes that she must tell her photo-journalist boyfriend rather more than he knows about that time. As Melissa reminisces the tanks roll into Tiananmen Square.

Shortly afterwards, an old friend calls from Hong Kong to tell her that one of the Tiananmen escapees claims to be Jianguo’s younger brother. He is due to arrive in London on his way to the US, where he has been granted asylum. Melissa is intrigued and agrees to put him up. But can this young man really be who he claims to be?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782956816812
Publisher: Krstyna Horko
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Krystyna Horko was born in London to a Polish father and a half-German mother. Her parents were both journalists and her complex family form the basis for her forthcoming memoir, called Picnic in Mongolia. She is currently a translator based in Paris. In an earlier life she studied Mandarin and Mongolian at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), went to China on a British Council scholarship and then worked as a China-watching journalist in Hong Kong, where she was a sub-editor for East Asian Civilizations, correspondent for the Foreign News Agency, editor of China Trader Magazine and, under the pen name of Stéphane Fantanange, a regular contributor to AsiaWeek (all those journals are now defunct!).

Table of Contents

1. London 1989

- Peking 1976

2. London 1989

- London 1960s-1972

3. London 1989

- Leeds 1972-76

4. London 1989

- Peking, Shenyang 1976-1977

5. London 1989

- Hong Kong 1977-78

6. London 1989

- Peking, 1978-79

7. London 1989

8. London 1979-1989

9. London 1989

Epilogue

- Baohong

Afterword

Notes

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