On Summer of Betrayal by Hong Ying
I was first attracted by this book for its brief introduction----“A graphic, sensuous and surprising novel about the aftermath of Tiananmen Square----by a young woman who was there.” It is also said that this book was published in Taiwan in 1992; though banned in the inland of China, it circulated there. And what I am reading is the first publication in the West. Man, more often than not, is inclined to be drawn by an unknown and mysterious world, and I’m not the exception. I’ve long been curious about what exactly happened in the bloody 1989, as up till now talking about or even mentioning this event remains something horrible and prohibited. Besides, Summer of Betrayal not only indicates the collapse of conviction after the Riot on June 4th, 1989, but also tells the betrayal of the actress’ lover, which serves as the vivid embodiment of a Chinese old saying “Misfortune never comes singly.” It is the interwoven clues that seize me and push me into right-away savor of it. As I proceed with book, I find that it is very different from what I’ve imagined and expected. Surely, it begins with a dramatic description of a young woman’s escape from Tiananmen Square on June 4th. At dawn on June morning in 1989 following the brutal repression of student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Lin Ying (the actress) fled the bullets, tanks and soldiers, trying desperately to get to the flat she shared with her lover. When she discovered him in bed with his estranged wife, she must strike out again on her own into the maelstrom of terror and risk that Beijing had become. Following the short-lived depiction of the Riot that night comes the long story of Lin Ying’s inner changes and outer experiences, dotted with flashbacks of her past life. I’d like to regard it more of a popular literature. Though after finishing the book I don’t get as much information about 1989 Event as I have wished, I catch a glimpse of the time of 80s, and...
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