THE THIRTY-SIXTH WAY: A Personal Account of Imprisonment and Escape from Red China by Lai Ying

THE THIRTY-SIXTH WAY: A Personal Account of Imprisonment and Escape from Red China

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Macao is a seedy ""twilight zone"" and a stopoff for the occasional defectors from Red China as well as an observation post for watchful foreign correspondents like Edward Behr and Sydney Liu, both with Newsweek affiliations, who translated and edited this account they persuaded Lai Ying to write. It is singular in interest. Lai Ying, of a Cantonese Catholic, ""capitalist,"" ""bourgeois"" family who moved to Hong Kong for apolitical reasons, returned to Canton at the death of an aunt. She was promptly arrested and imprisoned, first in two jails of descending horrors, then in a slave labor camp where even young women like Lai Ying served in the stone quarry. The brutalizing aspects are perhaps no different than in other camps of other, earlier and equally adamantine regimes. In 1964 she was released to serve as an informant in Canton; a very zealous Party doctor married her in spite of her ""grey"" elements and quickly lost his status and his affection for her; she had a baby she had to abandon as finally with others -- and via a musician she had known in the labor camp -- they made their way through small villages, rice fields and finally swam across the sea to Macao. Beyond its unquestionable sympathetic appeal, it is a document of exceptional properties as well as the particulars of life in the land of the Great Leap Forward.

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1969
Publisher: Doubleday