I’ve searched my memory but I can’t think of another example in English of an account of those years written by a member of the so-called “black classes”, the enemies of Mao’s class war. Most other accounts are from members of the “red classes” … often children of high officials. For example Jung Chang of Wild Swans… an extraordinary story told by an extraordinary woman.- Ted Rule, former diplomat, investment banker & financial professional in China over five decades.

Amei Li grew up in Red China, the daughter of a former business owner. In this memoir she describes the austerity of the Great Hunger (officially the Great Leap Forward) and later the terror and turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.

Instead of studying medicine at university she was sent, with millions of others, to the country to “learn from the peasants”. In a remote village she met two ‘rightist’ scholars, exiled a decade earlier, who became her private tutors in English and the great books of Western literature.

Eventually she was able to return to her family in Beijing where she became a first-hand witness to the massacre at Tianenmen Square.