Eating Grass, Drinking Wine is a gripping memoir of the life of one woman and her family, which began in China under Mao Zedong in the 1950’s. Surviving hardships and tribulations, she survived and made it to the United States where her life transformed for the better. This book is filled with powerful reflections of a China of the not too distant past. Survival was not necessarily a given in those very challenging years. Many people the author knew including relatives either died or disappeared in mass campaigns Mao launched, such as the Anti-Rightist Movement, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. It sheds light on a world much different than that of the West, told through the eyes of someone who lived it. This book also demonstrates the author’s passion for and gratitude to her adopted homeland and the people she’s met.
Liyan Liu is professor of history at Georgetown College and author of Red Genesis: The Hunan First Normal School and the Creation of Chinese Communism, 1903-1921.
List of Illustrations
Chapter One: Burning Down the House
Chapter Two: Red Paper Flowers
Chapter Three: I'm Leaving
Chapter Four: The Little Match-Seller
Chapter Five: Poison Ivy
Chapter Six: A Drop of Blood
Chapter Seven: A Single Plank
Chapter Eight: A Touch of Elegance
Chapter Nine: A Raincoat Made of Straw
Chapter Ten: The Pride of Heaven
Chapter Eleven: A Wild, Vast Moor
Chapter Twelve: Guardian Angel
Chapter Thirteen: Guests in this World
About the Author
No matter how far a person has wandered and how high one has reached, ultimately people cannot transcend the boundaries of emotions of the soul. Liyan Liu’s short autobiographical prose writes about her passion for the land she lives, her love for the people she cares from afar, and the pain of her loss with piercing, heart-felt, penetrating, and yet gentle words. Her writing reveals the journey and reincarnation of a soul from the East to West. It is a woman’s reenactment and affirmation of humanity, life, and their meaning.