Skip to content


Articles tagged "Cultural Revolution"

Ji Xianlin’s “The Cowshed - Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution”

I first became acquainted with the works of noted Indologist, linguist, and translator Ji Xianlin in the early 1980s, when I was a student of foreign literature in China. He had translated the famous Indian epic, Ramayana, from the original Sanskrit to Chinese, and an excerpt of Ji's translation appeared in my textbook. I remember devouring the beautifully translated verses in an unheated classroom in Shanghai as my mind was transported to the tropical forest of Panchavati, where Prince...

from “Black Rock”

Writer Yang Xianhui traveled around China interviewing survivors of the great famine of 1959.  He circumvented government censorship by adding details and presenting the results as fiction. In this chapter from his book The Dingxi Orphanage, a woman describes the horrific toll the famine took on her village. I grew up in the legendary Black Rock Village, a part of Xiangnan Township in Tongwei County. Old village folks used to recount a well-known tale: One night, with a loud...

from “Memories of the Cowshed”

Memories of the Cowshed is one of China’s top bestsellers on the Cultural Revolution. Ji Xianlin’s 1998 memoir recounts the painful and deeply disenchanting period he spent in the “cowshed,” an improvised prison on the Peking University campus for intellectuals labeled as “class enemies.” After the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), the cowsheds became a taboo subject on campuses across China, where persecutors and victims often continued to work...
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.