Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Life, Loss, and Hope in China

Hachette. Mar. 2019. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780316412049. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316412032. MEMOIR
OrangeReviewStarSince she was little, journalist Kan loved to hear family stories about when Chairman Mao and the Communist Party led her country into a bright, new future. Yet even then, the author knew some things were forbidden to be discussed. As she got older, Kan sought to understand what was happening in modern-day China, and she wanted people outside the country to understand as well; she felt Chinese media either lied or purposely covered up events and situations. For years, she kept this goal a secret, afraid revealing it would endanger her relatives or draw the disapproval of her family and friends. But through the encouragement of a teacher, exposure to the larger world in college, and various work-related experiences, she began to realize her dream of writing about China, its history and people. This book is the result—the author's life and family story, which includes a helpful time line that puts events in historical perspective.
VERDICT Kan presents an engaging debut memoir that would make an excellent book club choice and has strong YA crossover appeal.

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