Xifan Yang "Als die Karpfen fliegen lernten"
The Day the Carp Learnt to Fly
Journalist Xifan Yang came to Germany at the age of five but has since returned to live in Shanghai. Her dual perspective puts her in an ideal position to introduce us to China from both sides of the fence. Telling us the story of her family, she brings alive China’s present and its recent past.
Mr Peng has always had a mind of his own; his favourite pastime is singing self-penned songs. As a young man he was banished to a regime of forced labour in the mountains because of a rash diary entry. His music helped him to survive. Many decades later he came within a whisker of joining China’s biggest talent show – at the ripe old age of 80!
For Xifan Yang, who grew up in Germany, her grandfather’s story is not merely a matter of personal interest but also represents a journey through time into China’s tumultuous past … and the same goes for the stories of her parents, uncles and aunts. In this vivid account she describes how three generations of an ordinary Chinese family experienced the transition from the Mao regime via the reform movement under Deng Xiaoping all the way to the turbulent present.