The Book of Secrets: A Personal History of Betrayal in Red China (Hardcover)

The Book of Secrets: A Personal History of Betrayal in Red China By Xinran Xue Cover Image
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The story of a family in modern China with a history of deceit, betrayal and political intrigue, and the communist party's long shadow over them, from the Cultural Revolution to today.

Following the lives of military intelligence officer Jie and his wife Moon, The Book of Secrets weaves recently found material into a narrative that not only illuminates the shadowy world of intelligence in China, but also the emotional tragedies that political extremism inflicted on those working within.

Drawing on Jie's own vivid biography of his youth, Xinran pieces together his trajectory as he joins the great hope of the Chinese young – the Communist Party – and becomes a loyal cadre until the late 1970s when, as a chief in the security forces, he makes a decision that will poison his family against him.

This is a totally unique behind-the-scenes account of a family torn apart by the Tiananmen Square massacre and the attempts of Jie to finally open up the Chinese system to the people, pieced together from an extraordinary archive of personal diaries and letters.

About the Author

Xinran Xue is a British–Chinese author, journalist and activist. Her first book, The Good Women of China, was published in 2002 and became an international bestseller. Her most recent book The Promise was shortlisted for the Society of Authors Translation Prize.

In August 2004 Xinran set up 'The Mothers' Bridge of Love' (MBL), which reaches out to Chinese children in all corners of the world. By creating a bridge of understanding between China and the West and between adoptive culture and birth culture, MBL ultimately wants to help bridge the huge poverty gap that still exists in many parts of China.

Praise For…

The Book of Secrets [is] a particularly rare thing: a candid, insider account showing just how much the party knew and how much it covered up.” —Cindy Yu, The Spectator

An extraordinary firsthand account of Communist Party machinery at its most brutal and paranoid.” —Sunday Telegraph

No one has done more than Xinran to tell the truth about the lives of ordinary people in twentieth-century China. Her Book of Secrets is a tale of horror, redeemed as always by the story-teller's warmth, grace and narrative grip.” —Hilary Spurling, author of Burying the Bones

An extraordinary book of huge historical interest and value, exactly the kind of book that the Western world needs to read, to understand the complexity of the Chinese political worldview since 1949.” —Julia Lovell, author of Maoism: A Global History

“Xinran's talent is to survey the vast tidal waves of history and focus in on the human lives floating rudderless in their wake. This is a wonderful and compelling read.” —Tim Clissold, author of Mr China and Cloud Chamber

Xinran recounts an epic journey through China's recent history with a rare passion and clarity. The tale is seen through the tragic experience of a once powerful family, whose suffering she describes as though it were her own.” —Patrick Marnham, author of The Man Who Wasn't Maigret

The Book Of Secrets is the remarkable story of [a] deeply dysfunctional family.” —Mail on Sunday

A youthful faith betrayed and a deep love unrequited make for the most poignant of stories.” —The Tablet

Product Details
ISBN: 9781399406680
ISBN-10: 139940668X
Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English