My Sister China
By Jaroslav Prusek
Translated from the Czech by Ivan Vomacka
Charles University, The Karolinum Press
497 pages, Illustrated, 5 ¾" x 8 ¼"
This book contains travel memoirs by Jaroslav Prusek, recording his visit to China in 1932-1934. Prusek mostly stayed in Beijing. The book provides both records of personal experience, observations on everyday life in China at that time, as well as many comments on the history and culture of China, including a number of inspiring personal reflections on Chinese culture in general.
For today's reader Prusek's memoirs of his encounters with representatives of modern Chinese culture-scholars, writers and pets (Zheng Zhenduo, Bing Xin, Shen Congwen and others) - are especially valuable. In this respect the memoirs represent one of the pioneering efforts in the Western discovery of modern Chinese literature. The book was written for the general public during the war years, when Czechoslovakia was under the Nazi occupation. Between the lines of this unusual travelogue, messages of humanity and resistance against war ideology can be clearly heard. In this respect this book also bears witness to Prusek's uncompromising stance during the war and his personal courage in expressing it.
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