The award-winning author of "Waiting "and "War Trash" returns to
his homeland in a searing new novel that unfurls during one of the
darkest moments of the twentieth century: the Rape of Nanjing.
In 1937, with the Japanese poised to invade Nanjing, Minnie
Vautrin--an American missionary and the dean of Jinling Women's
College--decides to remain at the school, convinced that her
American citizenship will help her safeguard the welfare of the
Chinese men and women who work there. She is painfully mistaken. In
the aftermath of the invasion, the school becomes a refugee camp
for more than ten thousand homeless women and children, and Vautrin
must struggle, day after day, to intercede on behalf of the hapless
victims. Even when order and civility are eventually restored,
Vautrin remains deeply embattled, and she is haunted by the lives
she could not save.
With extraordinarily evocative precision, Ha Jin re-creates the
terror, the harrowing deprivations, and the menace of unexpected
violence that defined life in Nanjing during the occupation. In
Minnie Vautrin he has given us an indelible portrait of a woman
whose convictions and bravery prove, in the end, to be no match for
the maelstrom of history.
At once epic and intimate, "Nanjing Requiem" is historical fiction
at its most resonant.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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