Books by He Dong

ASK THE SUN by He Dong
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Ask The Sun ($12.95 paperback original; Oct.; 112 pp.; 1-879679- 10-8): An affecting collection of six delicately constructed stories that portray the youth of China in the wake of Mao's (The Sun's) Cultural Revolution. He Dong's usually anonymous narrators seem to represent stages in the maturing consciousness of a single protagonist: a withdrawn girl formed by her relationships with family members (termagant aunts and doting grandparents are recurring figures) affected to varying degrees by the exigencies of ``re-education.'' The best stories are ``We Love Chairman Mao'' (a girl's mixed reaction to a handsome schoolmate accused of ``counterrevolutionary'' sentiments) and ``Just a Game,'' in which children who play at ``storming the fortress'' unthinkingly, disastrously mimic the inescapably political actions of their elders. Troubling and thought-provoking work from a fine new talent. Read full book review >