Beijing Confidential

Paperback
A compelling true-life detective story interweaves two extraordinary woman's journeys into a uniquely personal portrait of the new Forbidden City. 'I contemplate my own mission impossible. How will I find a stranger in a country of 1.3 billion. the bittersweet irony is that, 33 years after I turned her in, I am on a planeload of mainland Chinese returning home of their own free will ...' Jan Wong first arrived in China at the height of the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s as a fervent young Maoist. Determined to change the world, instead she found her own world turned upside down. the result was a groundbreaking memoir, Red China Blues. In Beijing Confidential Wong returns to witness one of history's most extreme makeovers as the city feverishly prepares for its moment on the world stage for the 2008 Olympics. But she has a much more compelling personal reason to revisit her past. Haunted by her guilty conscience, Wong is convinced she ruined the life of a former fellow student, Yin Luoyi, all those years ago. When Yin asked for help to get to America, Wong promptly reported her comrade. More than three decades later she needs to make peace with the woman she betrayed - and herself. But finding absolution proves difficult in a country where cultural amnesia has become a way of life. As Wong searches for answers in a city where the past is being bulldozed daily, she is confronted with the breathless pace of change that's transformed Mao's once xenophobic country into the Great Mall of China, former comrades into capitalists, and much more. Beijing Confidential is a fascinating journey into China's past and present as two extraordinary women's journeys come full circle against the backdrop of a city in the midst of yet another transformation.