Author(s): Andrew Kwong
Andrew Kwong was only eight when he witnessed his first execution. The desperate scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao's new China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved. That's what his teacher told him.'Months later, it was his own father on trial. This time the sentence was banishment to a re-education camp, not death. Yet it left the family tainted, despised, and with few means of survival during the terrible years of persecution and famine known as the Great Leap Forward. Escape seemed the only solution, and it would be twelve-year-old Andrew who undertook the perilous journey first.