Monday, October 27, 2008

A theme

Over the weekend, I started another book from the huge stack: Wild Swans by Jung Chang. It's a fascinating true story - almost a saga. It starts in 1890's Manchuria with her great-grandparents and slowly winds its way into the present. Since I've not read all that far, I can't do much of a review except to say that I've learned a lot about the Communist/Kuomintang civil war and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.

I thought I was detecting a theme in my choice of books which was geographical. Having just finished The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai, I figured I was continuing on from my Egyptian adventure, then moving east to Nepal and now to Manchuria.

But, I think the real theme is the rebellion of people who are "mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more". These three novels are dealing with people whose lives are controlled by foreign occupation and economic oppression. It certainly is making me think in a different way about the nationalistic forces struggling in the world today. The goal is always to make things better but it's hard to know who is right. Maybe right and wrong are not relevant concepts here. We all struggle with the questions of how to make our world a more liveable, peaceful place. Answers are hard to test without actually putting them into action.

Just my ramblings...

3 comments:

Rosemary aka fabricfan said...

I was on a China kick a few years ago and read several books by Canadian writers about their parents and grandparents. I read Wild Swans, it was great. I was certainly ignorant of the history in that part of the world.

Stephanie V said...

So I guess I'm not Crossing it to you, eh?

Anonymous said...

We read Wild Swans for book club a year ago. I had no idea about what happened to the intellectuals during the time of Chairman Mao. It was a read eye-opener for me! Our club was also on a China kick - we read The Good Earth and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I now know way too much about foot-binding!

Teresa

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