A Personal Account of the Tiananmen Square Incident and the China Before and After
by Anna Wang
Pub Date 15 May 2019
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Inconvenient Memories is a rare and truthful memoir of a young woman's coming of age amid the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989.
In 1989, Anna Wang was one of a lucky few who worked for a Japanese company, Canon. She traveled each day between her grandmother's dilapidated commune-style apartment and an extravagant office just steps from Tiananmen Square. Her daily commute on Beijing's impossibly crowded buses brought into view the full spectrum of China's economic and social inequalities during the economic transition.
When Tiananmen Protests broke out, her Japanese boss was concerned that the protests would obstruct Canon's assembly plant in China, and she was sent to Tiananmen Square on a daily basis to take photos for her boss to analyze for evidence of turning tides.
From her perspective as a member of the emerging middle class, Wang observed firsthand that Tiananmen Protests stemmed from Chinese people's longing for political freedom and their fear for the nascent market economy, an observation that readers have never come across from the various accounts of the historical events so far.
A Note From the Publisher
“The events of the June Fourth massacre in Beijing in 1989 were so extreme that descriptions of it tend to be emotional. Anna Wang’s story of her decision to stay in China, hoping that economic development would bring democracy (while many of her friends were emigrating) helps us to understand what an ordinary Chinese citizen’s life felt beneath all the sturm und drang of the times. The color of her descriptions brings to life a period of Chinese history that large forces seem to have pressed colorless.” -- Perry Link, Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University
"Wang's memoir artfully braids the personal and the political. This is an analytically rigorous and exceedingly thoughtful autobiography that intelligently chronicles the grand forces of history without ever forgetting about the lives caught up in them. A moving recollection of personal and national identity." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A deeply intimate and revealing portrait of 'real life' inside China before and after the climactic Tiananmen Square Incident. Writer Anna Wang confronts her own country's history with eyes wide open. Breathtaking!" -- John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press
"Not only is this book extraordinarily entertaining and well written, it is likely to become a significant source of China's history and development as personally witnessed by an insightful participant. Highly Recommended on many levels." -- Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Hall of Fame Reviewer