At once a coming-of-age tale and a heart-rending love story, Wild Ginger explores the devastating experience of the Cultural Revolution, which defined Anchee Min’s youth. The beautiful, iron-willed Wild Ginger is only in elementary school when she is singled out by the Red Guards for her "foreign-colored eyes". Her classmate Maple is also a target of persecution. The novel chronicles the two girls’ maturing in Shanghai in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Chairman Mao ruled absolutely and his followers took up arms in his name. Wild Ginger grows up to become a model Maoist, but her love for a man soon places her in an untenable position and ultimately in mortal danger. This slim and powerful novel examines the "fragile sensibilities and emotions of an entire generation of Chinese youth” (Washington Post) and brilliantly delineates the psychological and sexual perversion of those times.
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