Things That Must Not Be Forgotten by Michael David Kwan
A Childhood in Wartime China

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The coming-of-age of a pampered half-Chinese boy living in Beijing during the Japanese Occupation.

Young David, son of his father's Swiss second wife, has been brought up first by servants and then by an English stepmother. The Japanese invasion destroys the Eurasian world of privilege in which he lives. His father serves in the pro-Japanese government while secretly, perilously, working for the Resistance. David, sent away to school, is taunted as a half-caste by the now openly xenophobic Chinese. After Japan's surrender, his father is imprisoned and reviled, in scenes foreshadowing those of Mao's Cultural Revolution, until he can clear himself. As the clash between Communists and Nationalists threatens to engulf China, twelve-year-old David is spirited out of the country alone, not knowing if he will ever see his family again.

Like J. G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun, this is an account of war's perils and life's betrayals, seen through the eyes of a bewildered youth.


About Michael David Kwan

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Michael David Kwan was a translator and a writer in several genres. His screenplay, "The Undaunted," won the 1999 Praxis Screenwriting Award, and his play, "A Season in Purgatory," won the 1995 DuMaurier National Playwriting Competition. "Things That Must Not Be Forgotton" was the winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, 2000. He died in 2001. "From the Hardcover edition.
Published January 1, 2001 by MAINSTREAM PUBLISHING. 244 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, War. Non-fiction

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Although emotionally distant, Kwan's father, the wealthy administrator for China's railroads, was a model of honor to his family and country, and Kwan's story is as much about his father as it is about himself.

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