How does a mother who grew up in the throes of the Cultural Revolution convey the impact and implications of that to her only child who grew up as Asian American? Peng’s book “Mulberry Child” tells that story, which she then produced as a movie in 2012. Introduction: Taking Small Bites
Mulberry Child is the heart-wrenching true story of a childhood in Communist China.
Jian Ping is born in the northeast of China. Her childhood comes to an abrupt end when the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) engulfs the country. Jian Ping’s father, Hou Kai, a government official, is falsely accused of treason-he was detained, beaten, and publicly shamed. Her mother Gu Wenxiu, a school administrator, is paraded in public and imprisoned by the Revolution Committee and the Red Guards. The family is pushed to a breaking point when they are forced to live in a mud house without heating, water, or a toilet. Facing abuse and deprivation, Jian Ping’s family stands steadfastly together, from her aging grandmother Nainai, a frail woman with bound feet, to her parents and siblings. The traumatic impact of their experiences shape the course of their lives forever.
Based on her own memories, as well as interviews and research, Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China is a family saga and an inspiring tale of resilience and determination. A coming of age story told through the eyes of an innocent child, revealing an insider’s look into a closed-off world and era in China.
The book has been turned into an award-winning documentary film and is available at Amazon Prime (Free for Prime membership) in all English language speaking countries.