In this fourth volume of her autobiography and history of China, covering the years from 1949 to 1979, Han Suyin writes of events which will be in the memories of many readers. As a Eurasian in South East Asia after the Second World War she has special insight into the struggles and difficulties experienced by both East and West in that sensitive period. Returning from England to live in Hong-kong with her adopted daughter Yungmei, she is determined to visit communist China - to see how her father and family have fared since the Revolution - though it is not until 1956 that she is allowed entry. Meanwhile, as a doctor in Hongkong, she meets and falls in love with Ian Morrison, and their passionate affair inspires the writing of A Many-Splendoured Thing - setting her on her course as one of the most acclaimed writers of her day. From her first visit to China in 1956 to the last recorded in this volume in 1978, Han Suyin views China, feeling herself at once a foreign observer and native Chinese. She measures the vast improvements in living conditions against the oppressive uniformity of thought: she experiences the leavening atmosphere of the Hundred Flowers period and the sharp reaction from it. She sees the effect of famine on the Chinese people and the relief and joy brought by the good harvest of 1962, and she describes the devastation wrought on Chinese society by the Cultural Revolution of 1966-7. After the death of Ian Morrison Han Suyin married Leonard Comber and moved to Malaya, where as a doctor she met Malaysians and Chinese from all strata of society; while as a writer she was introduced to politicians - among them Nehru, Malcolm MacDonald and Sukarno. It is Han Suyin's keen observation of events, her candid responses to what she sees and eloquent expression of what she feels, which make this book such a fascinating record of those formative years, both in her own life and in the birth of a new South East Asia.
History, Asia, China,