The Hell and the World By Wang Yongli

About the Book

Chun, a four-year-old girl, witnesses the killings of all her family members on the evening of the Moon Festival, during the middle of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

She survives because her parents protect her with their own bodies. For the next four years, Chun and her two dogs live together in a hole, surviving on food the villagers offer up as a sacrifice for Buddha statues at a temple.

After the Cultural Revolution ends, Chun is adopted by Peng’s family. A former Red Guard, Peng was sentenced to death for several crimes, including having killed twenty-one family members.

Peng’s son, Xiaohu, leaves home with Peng’s diary. Chun follows, to bring Xiaohu home. But she is captured and sold several times by human slavers. Chun suffers through all kinds of hardship and bitterness, until at last she is rescued.

After receiving Peng’s diary, which Xiaohu has sent her, Chun at last understands the reason why Peng and his followers became so cruel and lawless.

This amazing novel plays out over the years 1966 to 1996 in the suburbs of Beijing, China.

Review

Dear Professor Goran Malmqvist,

I have the honour to recommend you that Wang Yongli, an outstanding Chinese writer could be the candidate for the nomination of the Nobel Prize of Literature.

Wang Yongli, a prominent writer, the winner of “100 outstanding Broadcast and Television theorists of China”, the “Top Ten Best Poets of China Poem Press in 2009”, has written 10 books, including three English novels, , and , two Chinese novels , , and many poetry and prose works which are enjoyed by young readers. American critic Cynthia Sherman, Belgium critic Boudewijn Heeren and Australia critic Wade Slinkard commented as follow: “This is the best story about Chinese true life.” Boudewijn Heeren wrote an article “The book on romance” to praise “Scented Apricot Flowers” as: “masterpiece,” “full of great appeal” and “an amazing and fabulous love story.”

You can enjoy not only the romanticism and beauty from his novels, but also the powerfulness of critical realism. I was moved by “The Hell and The World”, the great critical realism work. It analyses the essence of the lawless problem of China from 1966—1996 and vividly depicts a litter girl’s bitter experience. I was moved by his great sympathy to the innocent people who were born in the landlord’s families. They were discriminated and they had no hope in future. At last all 22 Zhong family members decided to go to a glory death during the Culture Revolution, to awaken the country to establish a law—to respect and protect all citizens’ safety, including their life and right of existence.

The story is so appealing: Chun, a five-year-old girl, witnesses the killings of all her family members on the evening of the Moon Festival, during the middle of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. She survives because her parents protect her with their own bodies. For the next four years, Chun and her two dogs live together in a hole, surviving on food the villagers offer up as a sacrifice for Buddha statues at a temple. After the Cultural Revolution ends, Chun is adopted by Peng’s family. A former Red Guard, Peng was sentenced to death for several crimes, including having killed twenty-one family members. Peng’s son, Xiaohu, leaves home with Peng’s diary. Chun follows, to bring Xiaohu home. But she is captured and sold several times by human slavers. Chun suffers through all kinds of hardship and bitterness, until at last she is rescued. After receiving Peng’s diary, which Xiaohu has sent her, Chun at last understands the reason why Peng and his followers became so cruel and lawless, and why all Zhong family members wanted to die defenselessly.

“Fabulous as are the plots. Good characterization, interesting and well-described settings, and authentic-sounding dialogue,” just as what Cynthia Sherman commented.

But the book is also filled with truth, wisdom, and love. Many kind people help the little girl Chun against human slavers. To stop these terrible tragic events from happening again, the nation issued the Law: ‘The Act to Protect Children and Women’ and the very important Law: ‘The Civil Code’ in which the most supreme factor is the respect and protection of all citizen’s and all foreign visitor’s safety—-including their life and right of existence.

In the book of “The Hell and The World”, the same as his other books, such as “Resuming A Secular Life”, “No Longer Lonely”, “Scented Apricot Flowers”…etc, Wang Yongli wants you to understand and appreciate the virtues, the morals and ethics of Chinese, and to recognize that the lovely Chinese indeed have gone through all kinds of hardships and difficulties, but deeply keep the creativeness, the passion, the true and goodness. He hopes, in his words, ‘The more the people who are inclined to goodness and charity, the more harmonious, beautiful and peaceful the world will be.’ (Resuming A Secular Life, Page 7)

All above, Wang Yongli deserves a reward of the Nobel Prize.

Best wishes!

Sincerely yours

Yu Qiuyu


About the Author

Wang Yongli, a Chinese writer and journalist, experienced three years of starvation, the Cultural Revolution and the economic reform period. As a chief editor of China Central Television, he reported many big events and won national prizes. He has written many books, including two English novels, Resuming a Secular Life and Scented Apricot Flowers, published in the British Commonwealth of Nations.

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