At the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, 13-year-old Nanchu watched Red Guards burst into her home and arrest her parents, whom they tortured and jailed. She was left to fend for herself and her younger brother on the streets of Shanghai, enduring poverty and near-starvation. As she grew older she herself became a Red Guard and was sent down to the largest work camp in China. There she faced primitive conditions, predatory officials, a viper's nest of party jealousies, and near-fatal injury before she finally won admittance to Madame Mao's university in Shanghai. Her testimony is essential for anyone interested in China or human rights.
As important and grand as the People's Republic of China is, much about its recent history is unknown or misconceived. One of the largest paradigm shifts of the nation was the Cultural Revolution that began in the mid 1960's. At the age of 13 Nanchu was one of the children to have her home destroyed by Red Guards only to be indoctrinated and join their ranks later.
Carrie James voices Red Sorrow: A Memoir with an agonizingly poignant performance, which makes this all the more worth listening to. Also if you have any desire to understand China in a more complete way, then listen to this very personal account of penance.
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