In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests. Her name is Ai-Ming. As her relationship with Marie deepens, Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao's ascent, to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. It is a history of revolutionary idealism, music, and silence, in which three musicians, the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai struggle during China's relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to. Forced to re-imagine their artistic and private selves, their fates reverberate through the years, with deep and lasting consequences for Ai-Ming - and for Marie. Written with exquisite intimacy, wit and moral complexity, Do Not Say We Have Nothing magnificently brings to life one of the most significant political regimes of the 20th century and its traumatic legacy, which still resonates for a new generation. It is a gripping evocation of the persuasive power of revolution and its effects on personal and national identity, and an unforgettable meditation on China today.
Madeleine Thien wurde 1974 in Vancouver, British Columbia, geboren. Ihre Eltern stammen aus Malaysia und China und emigrierten in den 1960ern nach Kanada. Als Kind begann Thien mit Ballett, Steptanz und Akrobatik, studierte zunächst Tanz, wechselte dann 1994 über zu Literatur an der University of British Columbia. Ihr erstes Buch "Simple Recipes", eine Sammlung von Kurzgeschichten, wurde mit vier kanadischen Literaturpreisen ausgezeichnet und für einen regionalen Commonwealth Writers' Prize für das erste Buch nominiert. Madeleine Thien lebt mit ihrem Mann Willem in Quebec.