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The second volume in Han Suyin's autobiography (The Crippled Tree. p. 794, 1965), A Mortal Flower covers the chaotic, explosive years between 1928 and 1938. For Han Suyin, her father died on a night she tried to please him, her mother the day she was born--she was the different, the ugly, the unloved child, willful, ambitious, determined to become a doctor, working her way from fourteen. Meanwhile, Han Suyin portrays China as turning from the West in 1919, when Sun learned of secret agreements between the U.S. and Japan outside the League of Nations. Her China was assaulted from all sides--by the Japanese in Manchuria, by the foreign interests that would not relinquish their forced labor factories where women and children perished--and from within, where Chiang's rule was threatened by the emerging Mao. Her inside China coverage is fresh and the view from the East will have its shock value for Americans (she attributes Ngo Din Diem's liquidation to the C.I.A. without any qualification). The Eurasian heritage which was so influential a factor in her life may have carried her to Belgium; it also took her back to China in time of war; having passed her predoctoral studies with highest distinction, she turned her back on a scholarship and toward China, for ""justice needs the evidence of all our lives."" Impassioned and incisive, Han Suyin's book has much to tell the West.

Publisher: Putnam