A family saga spanning fifty years and three generations, which takes the reader from the France of the Golden Age to poverty-stricken post-war Shanghai via the re-imagined rural China of the Cultural Revolution.
Ah-Mei and her French grandmother, Nainai, share a rare bond. Maybe because Ah-Mei is the only girl grandchild, or maybe because the pair look so alike – and because neither look much like the rest of their Chinese family. Politics and war make 1960s Shanghai a hard place to grow up, especially when racism and bigotry are rife, and everyone is suspicious of Nainai’s European heritage. Ah-Mei and her family suffer much in this time of political upheaval, and when the family silk business falters, they are left with almost nothing. But Ah-Mei and her grandmother are resourceful, and they have one another – and the tenderness they share brings them great strength.
Cao Wenxuan grew up in rural China and is now a professor of Chinese literature and children’s literature. He is the author of several celebrated books for young readers, including the novel Bronze and Sunflower, which received three starred reviews. His fluid, poetic prose depicts honest, sometimes raw, and often melancholy moments of life.
He has also received significant recognition for his academic research and teaching in the field of children’s literature, and he was the first Chinese author to win the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award.
Cao Wenxuan is the author of Summer.