Title:Tracing It Home - Journeys Around a Chinese Family
Lynn Pan's journey of discovery begins at her father's grave in London and takes her to her native Shanghai, to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and finally Chinese Turkestan, as she traces the encroachment of the past on the present. Past and present were severed by Shanghai's fall to communism. In trying to reconstruct family experiences bestriding that divide, the author is led to troubling revelations about her grandfather and father, and about the disaster which befell those around them - above all Hanze, the old family retainer, who paid for his loyalty with 24 years of penal labour. Pan takes fragments of these lives and pursues them through the years of Japanese occupation, of revolution and exile. She evokes the Shanghai of the '40s and '50s, the terrible fates of the women of earlier generations, lives governed by a sense of fatedness and bruised by addiction to opium, the bitter struggle for survival in forced-labour camps. But it is Hanze who constitutes the heart of the story, who becomes Pan's guide and link to earlier generations, and whose unshaken belief in the time-hallowed bond between master and servant connects the living with the dead, the old world and the new...
Second hand Paperback