One Bright Moon
From famine to freedom, how a young boy fled Chairman Mao's China to a new life in Australia
Andrew Kwong was only seven when he witnessed his first execution. The grim scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao's New China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved. That's what his teacher told him.
Months later, it was his own father on trial. This time the sentence was banishment to a re-education camp, not death. It left the family tainted, despised, and with few means of survival during the terrible years of persecution and famine known as the Great Leap Forward. Even after his father returned, things remained desperate. Escape seemed the only solution, and it would be twelve-year-old Andrew who undertook the perilous journey first.
This is the poignant, resonant story of a young boy's awakening – to survival, education, fulfilment, and eventually to a new life of freedom.
'An incredibly powerful book' Benjamin Law
'[A] moving family saga, shot through with yearning and hard-won joy' Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald
'This book will live on in your heart long after you've read the last page' Vicki Laveau-Harvie, author of The Erratics
'Heart-breaking, honest, personal, Andrew Kwong's moving journey from oppression to freedom is inspiring' Susanne Gervay, OAM, author
'... a work of startling clarity ... reminiscent of Angela's Ashes' South China Morning Post Magazine
'A profoundly moving and spellbinding story that perfectly illuminates the terror of the times and the irrepressible yearning for something better' Carol Major, author and writing mentor
'One Bright Moon is extraordinary writing that encapsulates long-term hunger as a background feature of daily life in Mao's New China. In the foreground are images of adults and children populating the world of the pre-teenage boy with a photographic memory who would later write of them. The book is rich archival material for the study of China's social history' Mabel Lee, PhD FAHA, writer and translator