Enter the world of Bronze and Sunflower: a small village in Mainland China during the Cultural Revolution. The villagers of Damaidi live close to the land as subsistence farmers. Bronze is mute after an early trauma; Sunflower is the daughter of one of the artists sent to a nearby work camp who died suddenly, leaving her an orphan. They form an incredible bond tried by poverty, adversity and famine. Beautiful lyrical text (translated from the Chinese by Helen Wang) gives readers a true glimpse into life half a world away and 50 years ago. Bronze and Sunflower feels a bit like Little House in the Big Woods, going deeply into the business of farming, hunting, and attending school but in 1970’s China. Cao Wenxuan (last name is Cao) is a professor of Chinese literature at Peking University and one of China’s most beloved children’s authors. He is the recipient of the 2016 International Hans Christian Anderson Award. We are so lucky that Ms. Wang and Candlewick Press made it possible for Americans to enjoy it too. Unforgettable. Read it to someone you love.
David Pritchett is a photographer, educator, and the latest Evanston artist to be featured in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL. His fascinating show Daily China was on display at EPL’s Main Library throughout November and explored China’s careening city buses, rural Buddhist temples, and street-side restaurants in an effort to “reflect a shared humanity amid the unique present of an ancient culture.” We recently spoke with Mr. Pritchett via email about how the Peace Corps inspired his art, his creative process, and his conviction that “there is more in cultural diversity that unites us than separates us.”
We are thrilled to welcome Evanston photographer and educator David Pritchett as the next featured artist in our ongoing exhibition series Local Art @ EPL. His show – titled Daily China – is currently on display on the 2nd floor of EPL’s Main Library where you can catch it through November 30th. Captured between 2008 and 2014, Pritchett’s fascinating images explore China’s careening city buses, rural Buddhist temples, and street-side restaurants in an effort to “reflect a shared humanity amid the unique present of an ancient culture.” Don’t miss this excellent exhibit, and make sure to check back with Off the Shelf later in November for a featured interview with the artist himself. Stay tuned.
Lee, Janice Y.K. The Piano Teacher. 2009. (Fiction Lee.J)
Soon after following her husband to Hong Kong in 1951, Claire Pendleton is hired as piano teacher to the daughter of a wealthy Chinese family and becomes involved with their chauffeur, an enigmatic Englishman haunted by memories of war with the Japanese and his relationship with a beautiful Eurasian socialite. Moving back and forth in time, this complex and richly atmospheric romantic thriller involving a missing Crown Collection of jewels, wartime crimes, deceit and betrayal, is also available on CD. (Susan R., Reader’s Services)