By Yin Dalong with CK Stuart
Youngsters in modern rural China have skilled an remarkable second; amid radical financial and social alterations that experience despatched their mom and dad to city facilities to make money source of revenue, youngsters were left in the back of to reside with older kin. This primary redefining of position, parenting, and dwelling has hardly ever been written approximately by means of the kids themselves in English. Set in rural Hunan within the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries, this novel vividly describes farm creation, the shift from an agricultural lifestyle to a lifestyles financially supported through migrant hard work gains, neighborhood non secular lifestyles, Huagu opera, schooling, advanced and violent relationships among relatives and villagers, the deaths of the protagonist's (Maomao) mom and paternal grandmother, a marriage, funerals, and native gala's – from the point of view of a kid. Refusing to drop out of faculty and develop into a migrant employee or a soldier, Maomao finally achieves his dream of changing into a school pupil opposed to all odds. This unvarnished and vividly written description of a latest rural lifestyles in China is uniquely vital and attractive to a huge readership.
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Extra info for ASIAN HIGHLANDS PERSPECTIVES Volume 22: Living and Dying at the Feet of the Snowy Mountains: A contemporary Childhood in Rural Hunan, China
This cold wa r lasted until Mother became very ill. Father wo rked outside as usual, but he gave Mother less money wh en he returned. Gradually , he began to drink and smoke. When he wa s at home, he often went to drink local homemade liquor with other village men at night. He often got drunk and wh en he returned home he wo uld shout and smash things like glasses and cups, wh ich terrified Sister and me and made us cry . When Father didn' t go out to drink liquor, he often sat on a rock in front of our house, smoked, and seemed lost in thought.
Mother only needed to do housework at our home and care for Sister and me. Father earned money outside the village and, wh en he returned home, he gave it to Mother, wh o decided how to spend it. Mother spent a lot of money on doctors' visits and medicines. Her bedroom table wa s covered wi th medicine bottles of vary ing sizes. She gave some empty bottles to me, and I put coins in ·31· them. Mother also bought C hinese herbal medicines, boiled them, and then drank the resulting brew. Mother enjoy ed life when she felt good.
Father took her to the town ship hospital wh ere she wa s diagnosed as having terminal ovarian cancer. The doctor bluntly told Father, "Your wi fe is dy ing. " Father then quit his job in town as a construction wo rker and stay ed at home to care for Mother. Relatives came to visit, comforted Mother, and encouraged her to overcome the pain. Mother wa s happy to see them, and tried hard to chat. After school, ·37· Sister and I replaced Father as caregivers. We often sat near her bed and sang, try ing to cheer her up.