From inside an extended family in China, Do Not Say We Have Nothing examines two of the most important political moments of the past century.
➤ “This is historical fiction written authentically and beautifully, and as twee as it sounds I feel privileged to have read this book.
“The impact of overarching political decision-making on individuals and families is set out so clearly and with such complete and utter devastation that I felt emotionally wrung out on the completion of this novel.
“Despite being so far removed from the culture and era in Do Not Say We Have Nothing there was something very relatable about the characters’ experiences. How the hell the author did this – well I have no idea, but it’s bloody commendable.
“I am fairly ignorant when it comes to Chinese history but feel slightly more knowledgeable after reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing.
“A truly lovely book – again not trying to be twee, but my life is richer for having read it.” – Suzy
➤ “Wow. That feels like the best place to start in formulating my thoughts on Do Not Say We Have Nothing. A book which captivated me from the first paragraph and held my attention to the very last page.
“Not only is this a book about China’s history, in particular the cultural revolution, it also covers off the topics of musical composition, literature, love, morality and the right to freedom. Thien has woven these all together in an epic story that is sure to move all its readers.
“I felt I learned a lot about China’s political history and met characters who will stay with me forever. While there is much sadness about the plot, one must remember these events were probably true for many people who survived – or did not survive – the political and societal turmoils of China past.
“All in all, this feels like a Man Booker shortlister. A piece of work that has taken time and research and transcends boundaries in its search of humanity and truth.” – Rachel