The Boat to Redemption by Su Tong

The Boat to Redemption

Su Tong

This is an atmospheric account of the taut relationships and constrictions that life as a social outcast bring when you are forced to spend a decade on board a barge community during the Cultural Revolution. Claustrophobic, touching and confusing in equal measure - it’s hard to comprehend the oppressive control that the Party has on ordinary people.

Extract

I ducked my head under the surface .... Trying to keep one step ahead of my father was hard, and the water offered no help. It was hopeless. I could stay in the water for ever, hold my breath until I drowned, and still I couldn't escape Father's watch over me.

Parallels
  • Please Don't Call Me Human by Wang Shuo
  • The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian
  • Under Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings