Da Chen grew up in the deep south of China, running barefoot in muddy fields and riding the backs of water buffaloes. In his tiny Fujian village, water was fetched from an ancient well swimming with snakes, and the only lights that burned in most households were hissing kerosene lanterns. As the grandson of a disgraced landowner, he was a victim of communist political persecution and hollowing poverty during the Cultural Revolution. His family was beaten, his father thrown in reform camp, and young Chen, at the age of nine, was threatened with imprisonment.
Da Chen recommends
Border Town (1934)
"Mr. Shen's Border Town has always been compared to Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. The two are a bejeweled pair, forever shining to illuminate our hearts and our souls."
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires (2017)
"An instant classic, The Hidden Light of Northern Fires announces the arrival of a major talent, fully matured."
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