Rose Valley: Love, Violence, and Communist Distopia in Maoist China

November 16, 2018 - 12:00pm

Lecture by Baoyu (Peter) Xie
It is commonly recognized that the incessant political campaigns in Maoist China resulted in disastrous consequences throughout the nation, but the regional differences and specificities in practice have yet to be explored. Rose Valley (Meigui ba玫瑰坝) is an epic narrative that depicts the tumultuous transformation of a small village in Sichuan province from 1950 to 1967. It offers a realistic account of the rural landscape in Southwestern China, which is unique in modern Chinese literature and merits special attention for social history. Revolved around the love story between an enthusiastic party cadre and a widow from a landowner family, the novel vividly relates how the Maoist utopian dream is shattered after waves of political campaigns such as the land reform, anti-rightist movement, Mutual-Aid Teams, Cooperativization, Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution, hit the village and the protagonists.

In this talk, the novel’s author, Baoyu (Peter) Xie, will share his experience of writing this novel and reflect on the profound influence of Maoist agricultural policy on local cadres, landowners, students, and ordinary peasants.

Peter Xie grew up in Sichuan province and was one of the “educated youths” during the Cultural Revolution. After years of being a teacher in China and an accountant in Canada, he decided to respond to the inner calling of fiction writing. Rose Valley is his first novel.

Location and Address

4130 WWPH