. . but i am thinking of writing something along these lines.
I just finished listening to a podcast interview with Charles Lee, the author of a new Chinese misery memoir*, Bitter sea. Now Chas might be a decent fellow, he really could be, but what I heard was another scummy opportunist moaning on endlessly about how their miserable life, which fortunately, or unfortunately, I guess, happened to intersect with a number of fantastic historical dramas. I reached this point rather swiftly in his account, probably as he described his utter heartbreak at the departure of his wetnurse when he was just four years old.
I’m feeling that the shelves of Chinese misery memoirs aren’t quite replete and that at some point, the world really needs to hear how miserable the lot of Huang Guang Cheng has really been. We could sketch out the details here. What’s needed are some miserable misery points, such as, at the age of 42, Huang suddenly realises his deep despair at the wetnurse he’s never had.
Feel free to add your own. Meanwhile I’m off looking for a publisher. Key pitching point will be, I assure you after a zillion edits it will still sound like a crappy high school reader read aloud by whoever it was that wrote all the scripts for Hollywood’s Chinese characters in the fifties. Yeah, yeah, that’s right, it’s a guaranteed winner!
- I’d hasten to add these aren’t all bad. Wu Ningkun’s is good, and Life & death in Shanghai is a ripper of a read.