He Liyi, with Claire Anne Chik. Mr. China's Son: A Villager's Life. Boulder, San Francisco, and Oxford: Westview Press, 1993. xvi, 271 pp. Hardcover $55, Paperback $16.95. Mr. China's Son is a delightful autobiography of He Liyi, a villager living in Yunnan province in Southwest China. The book is a special treat in that it was written by Mr. He in English and therefore has lost none of its freshness through translation. With simplicity, modesty, and a wonderful sense of humor, He Liyi invites the reader to become an insider to Chinese society, making us feel like a member of his family. Through his own perceptions and fhose of Airee women who figure most prominenfiy in his life, he shares his experience and thoughts, particularly his understanding of the importance of human relationships. We observe him develop and nurture close family relationships, create social relationships that help him survive, and navigate his way around political power and rivalry. We are touched by the wisdom he and the other main characters of the book display, a wisdom Aiat has noAiing to do wiAi formal education. Moreover, through the seemingly never-ending miseries encountered in He Liyi's life, Mr. China's Son
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1994
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