A historical fiction short story, The Fisherman’s Daughter seeks to present an imagined life of someone who experienced the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s. Split into two parts, the story presents two snapshots of the protagonist’s life situated around an unseen tragedy. Along with various secondary sources, the most influential primary sources for this piece were Chen Rouxi’s The Execution of Mayor Yin, a collection of short stories, Feng Jicai’s Voice from the Whirlwind, a series of transcribed interviews, and Anchee Min’s Red Azalea, a memoir about the author’s experiences during the Cultural Revolution as well as Ye Weili’s Growing Up in the People’s Republic: Conversations between Two Daughters of China’s Revolution. These sources blend narrative, historical events, and perceptive orientation of experiencing drastic change, and the reading of these texts guided not only the plot events of my story but also the method of recounting personal history. I also consulted secondary sources including Frank Dikotter’s article “Looking back on the Great Leap Forward,” Gail Hershatter’s article “Forget Remembering: Rural Women’s Narratives of China’s Collective Past,” and Zheng Xiaowei’s “Passion, Reflection and Survival: Political Choices of Red Guards at Qinghua University, June 1966-July 1968.” I hope this piece represents an outsider’s attempt to understand this complex mingling of politics and culture while still respecting the people who endured and struggled during this period.
"The Fisherman's Daughter,"
University of Massachusetts Undergraduate History Journal: Vol. 2, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/umuhj/vol2/iss1/8