Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Book - 2016
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Marie endeavors to piece together the story of her fractured family's past and its connection to her friend Ai-Ming, uncovering information about how both women's fathers were forced to reimagine their identities during Mao's Cultural Revolution.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780393609882
Branch Call Number: F THIEN
Characteristics: 473 pages : genealogical table ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Aug 12, 2020

A good book but I had a hard time getting through the pages.

- The book tells the stories of Chinese people's lives, during the 1900s, where revolutions and reform happened, with a particular focus on music.
- I find this hard to read because unless you're somewhat familiar with Chinese history, you would likely understand and enjoy nothing from the stories. The stories explore the details of what it was like living under hard time meanwhile still advocating for the political party. Hence, only from bits to bits that readers know what ACTUALLY (politically) was going on.
- I only found the push to read reaching a quarter of the book ( it is along, I was about to leave it unfinished).
- The writing is decent I'd say, lots of details and emotions intertwined.
3 stars

May 20, 2020

Moving tale - made me emphathize with what it would have been like for perceived class enemies (musicians) during Cultural Revolution in China and then again in the democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. Subjects I do not know a lot about. Read this during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and it was a big help in expanding my immagination beyond the four corners of my little home.

Feb 17, 2020

Difficult and long, never finished but a very good book about politics and China

Dec 03, 2019

Angela Lin is a masterful narrator - I always knew who was speaking in the tangle of characters.
I have two quibbles with the audiobook: I found the time at 20 hours a bit too long and I found the writing a bit too didactic - less would have been more. That said, the novel is an opus and I’ll read it (or maybe listen to it a second time) soon.

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / May 2018

Jul 22, 2019

This book is a masterpiece like no other.

Apr 22, 2019

A beautiful and very poetic novel that I enjoyed reading very much. A great way to learn about China's history while going through very important topics: emancipation, freedom, love... Music, mathematics, poesy, literature and action accelerate and slow the story that mixes times and generations. Beautiful!

Jan 23, 2019

Prose. You will be swept away to 20th century China with this novel's lyrical writing.

JessicaGma Dec 16, 2018

A really interesting 'history' of contemporary China where Mao's reforms turned everything on its head. Marie recounts her family history in the effort to find her cousin. It's a slow moving story but very intriguing.

Jul 24, 2018

This book started off with prose, an exquisite storyline filled with music and bold characters, and in the end I couldn’t finish it out of sheer boredom. I knew that this would be a slow paced novel, but there’s a limit. The characters failed to leave a lasting mark on me, and if I’m being brutally honest: I don’t even remember what transpired in the novel. That’s just how unaffected I am by this story of demonstrations and full-length pages of musical descriptions. Initially, the story had enough intrigue to keep me invested, but it was too long and dreary. When I finished, I took a big sigh of relief.
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Aug 12, 2020

kthngongan thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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