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Eine Mango für Mao – Book by Wei Zhang

China 1968. Cultural Revolution. Life is characterized by material scarcity and extreme politicization. The author unmasks the absurdity of everyday life through the initially naive look of five-year-old Yingying.

Yingying is five when she has to understand that even an account with negligible child savings can be considered treason: When her grandmother Nainai’s stake house is expropriated, she tries to withdraw her money – but does she not send out a signal that harms her family? After all, private property is forbidden!

The girl lives with her parents in a small apartment on the grounds of her school. Their whole lives take place here: rival cliques in the neighbourhood, teachers critical of the regime, the death of the uncle, the mango as a cult object and a first love.

 

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