In 2001, to visit his sick father, the exiled poet Bei Dao returned to his homeland for the first time in over twenty years. The city of his birth was totally unrecognizable. "My city that once was had vanished," he writes: "I was a foreigner in my hometown." The shock of this experience released a flood of memories and emotions that sparked Open Up, City Gate. In this lyrical autobiography of growing up--from the birth of the People's Republic, through the chaotic years of the Great Leap Forward, and on into the Cultural Revolution--Bei Dao uses his extraordinary gifts as a poet and storyteller to create another Beijing, a beautiful memory palace of endless alleyways and corridors, where personal narrative mixes with the momentous history he lived through. At the center of the book are his parents and siblings, and their everyday life together through famine and festival. Open Up, City Gate is told in an episodic, fluid style that moves back and forth through the poet's childhood, recreating the smells and sounds, the laughter and the danger, of a boy's coming of age during a time of enormous change and upheaval.
Author: Bei Dao Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation Published: 04/25/2017 Pages: 320 Binding Type: Paperback Weight: 0.75lbs Size: 7.90h x 5.20w x 1.00d ISBN: 9780811226431
Review Citation(s): Publishers Weekly 02/27/2017
About the Author Dao, Bei: - Bei Dao, born in Beijing in 1949, has traveled and lectured around the world. He has received numerous international awards for his poetry, and is an honorary member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Bei Dao, now a U.S. citizen, is currently Professor of Humanities in the Center for East Asian Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.Yang, Jeffrey: - Jeffrey Yang is the author of the poetry books Vanishing-Line and An Aquarium. He is the translator of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo's June Fourth Elegies and Su Shi's East Slope, and the editor of Birds, Beasts, and Seas: Nature Poems from New Directions. He works as an editor at New Directions Publishing and New York Review Books.