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(YA) Many people talk about Communist China; few do anything about it. This young Chinese girl did. She left Mao's protective communal lap in 1962 when she was seventeen years old and about ready to fulfill her comradeship as an elementary school teacher, the profession decreed for her by the inexorable Red tape. Now in America with her family, Sansan tells the story of her childhood, her school and its labor service where garbage dump detail and construction work were more essential to ""good standing"" than grades in mathematics. In Tsientsin in North China, she and her schoolmates felt the pinch of rations and hunger following the ""Great Leap Forward"" in 1958, and much of the usual Western version of the anti-communistic apocrypha is reiterated here. Aiming for an ""inconspicuous political file,"" Sansan managed the minimum in Communistic allegiance required to keep her in the State's good graces. Sansan did not leave for a Western Promised Land, but to join her real mother who, she had discovered, was living in Hong Kong. Her story is touching and convincing through human interest, not political acumen--and perhaps the more illuminating because it seems less dramatic and more typical than the propagandistic picture of the Young Pioneer generation in Red China.

Publisher: Harper & Row