Thursday, May 10, 2012

UIS commencement speaker and former student portrays life in The Little Red Guard

The following book review was written by Mary Bohlen and published in an May 10, 2012, edition of the Illinois Times.

"I thought I knew the story of Wenguang Huang, who will be the commencement speaker at the University of Illinois Springfield May 12. After all, I’ve known Wen for 21 years, first as my student at UIS and later as a dear family friend. He met my extended family, picked apples in my husband’s orchard and even flew from Chicago to Boston for my son’s wedding.

I was wrong.

Sure, I knew he had grown up in China during the Cultural Revolution, was involved in student protests at the time of Tiananmen and had embraced democracy after a short time in the United States. Not until I read his just-published and captivating memoir did I realize the extent of his journey.

Most of all, I did not know he had been the keeper of his grandmother’s coffin, a fact that stands at the center of The Little Red Guard."

Read the full review online