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  • Location: China

The Four Stories

The Four Stories

Why a Booktrail?

The story of the Great Famine

  • ISBN: 978-0099569497
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician – and hundreds just like them – are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books.

But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive. Divided into four narratives, The Four Books tells the story of the Great Famine, one of China’s most devastating and controversial periods.

Travel Guide

The Great Famine

The Great Famine or Great Chinese Famine was a period of low agricultural production, food shortages and mass starvation in China, from 1959 to 1961.

“Yan Linke’s Novel is unusual in that it offers a detailed exploration, in fictional form, of some of the policy mistakes and human tragedies that unfolded during this period.

The book focuses on a re-education compound,known as the ninety nineth district, for intellectuals accused of being rightists. No characters have names but are identified by their former occupations such as Scholar and the Author.

The book describes the  lives of those scholars and scientist who were sent to labour camps in the countryside during Mao’s régime to carry out manual labour as part of the communist re-education programme. The physical conditions in which they were forced to live were unbearable and the psychological trauma was unmeasurable.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  The Four Books

Destination: China  Author/Guide: Yan Lianke  Departure Time: 1959 – 1963

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