Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The White-Haired Girl: Bittersweet Adventures of a Little Red Soldier Paperback – August, 1997


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$35.61 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sun was born in Beijing in 1964 to doting intellectual parents. Because they worked six days a week at the Ministry of Culture, she was sent at age two to a live-in kindergarten, where she learned to worship Chairman Mao and desire nothing more than to be "his best kid." When her mother was sent to a distant agricultural labor unit, she went along to live at a nearby school, from which she could visit her mother occasionally; her father, a filmmaker, was left behind. In time, she was sent back to Beijing to be cared for by a nanny and be near her father. But he had taken a mistress and did not appear for a long time. On her mother's return, his infidelity nearly destroyed the family, though eventually her parents reconciled. Through their wrenching love story, her own accepting childhood and her teenage infatuation with a poet, Sun details the madness of personal life under Mao; the growing disaffection, subsequently, under Deng; and the rush of people, including herself, to emigrate to the once-hated capitalist U.S. Although the writing here does not compare with the poetic beauty of Anchee Min's Red Azalea, Sun has written an authentic document of growing up in Maoist culture. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The nickname that gives this memoir its title comes from a famous Chinese revolutionary ballet about a good daughter. The chubby child who bore that nickname was born in 1964 to parents vulnerable, when the Cultural Revolution began, to attack as "stinking ninth category intellectuals" from the Ministry of Culture, once labeled by Mao as "a bourgeois organization stinking of capitalism and feudalism." At a labor camp in desolate Hubei province, her mother worked hard while Jaia, a city child, wandered the "golden hills" chasing grasshoppers and butterflies, but Jaia also learned that older relatives and friends from Beijing were "bad people who did not love Chairman Mao." Jaia's facile father scrambled to succeed in the nation's highly political film industry and romanced a series of "other women," even after his wife returned from the labor camp. Although it's hard to believe Sun-Childers truly remembers many incidents from her early years recounted here, her memoir is a nuanced, involving narrative of childhood in an exotic, puzzling time and place. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pica Books; Lst Picador USA ed edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031215691X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312156916
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #529,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
4
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The White Haired Girl is about a young Chinese girl who had to grow up during the Cultural Revolution during the mid 1960's. She had to overcome the many difficulties such as having her mother taken from her in order for her mother to perform labor duties for the country of China during this time. The girl was faced with being sent away to school to learn and serve the "great" Chairman Mao. After reading this book, I think it's a great portrayal of this young Chinese girl during this difficult time for the Chinese. I like this book because it was great in detail with also a lot of hardships that this girl went through. At some parts of the book, it got boring. However it always seemed to bring itself back up to many high points of the factors of the Cultural Revolution. I recommend this book to people that are interested in different stories of the Chinese and the Cultural Revolution
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This is an individual perspective on the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath by a very positive young woman who experienced a terrible state of affairs but came through. The anecdotes are interesting, and the dysfunctional family (especially the document-forging, lock-picking father) never ceases to amaze. The co-authors make for some interesting and fresh usages of Chinese words, such as "ghost-mixing" (for the Chinese gui3 hun4, approximately equivalent to scr--ing around). This book provides good background for some of the excellent contemporary fiction now appearing in English on this period, such as Geling Yan's new book, "White Snake and Other Stories."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Anne M. Beggs on March 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was a gift, literally and... I knew nothing of the Cultural Revolution. This memoir was an introduction and an education into a devasting and horrendous period of time in China, told by a young girl whose educated parents were punished as traitors to the state. Despite that blemish on her record, she strives to be Mao's Best Kid, and model Chinese. Bright and resourceful, she learns for herself.

Beautifully written, with stark and grim detail. I still get shivers thinking of the fear and insecurity when corrupt neighbors would betray friends. When the police might come and take your family away.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
I've read many first person accounts of living through the Cultural Revolution in China, and this ranks high on my personal list of favorites. Jaia's childhood story is told with a great deal of honesty, and she lets us see along with her the first realizations that all she is told might not be fact, and that there are different ways to view events. I loved the account of a survivor of the Long March talking at her school. Like another reviewer, I'd like to know more about her life in the US, and would love another book by her telling that story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again