Dr. Bethune's Children

Xue Yiwei. Translator Darryl Sterk

Dr. Bethune’s Children tells the stories of the offspring of two ordinary families marked by cataclysms both natural and man-made. From the Cultural Revolution to the Tiananmen Square massacre, the novel unfolds against a backdrop of the international developments that have rocked everyday life from the Cold War to the emergence of the super power that China is today. Banned in China, Dr. Bethune’s Children is hailed as a masterpiece. In focusing on the distress and repression that have marked a whole generation, Xue Yiwei unveils the human heart.

This is the subversive novel that only Xue Yiwei could write. Like millions of other Chinese growing up since the 1960s, when Mao Zedong’s eulogy to Bethune was required reading in every elementary school, Xue Yiwei was Inspired by the Montreal doctor’s self-sacrifice (he died treating the wartime wounded) and his dedication to the Chinese regime. Unlike his peers, however, Xue Yiwei went to the lengths of moving to Montreal, where he has lived for sixteen years as an expatriate writer acclaimed in China and unknown in Canada. Until now.

WINNER of the 2017 Blue Metropolis Conseil des Arts de Montréal Literary Diversity Prize

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