chapter  2
A home given by Chairman Mao
WithHan Wen-Chou, Yao Lung-Ch’ang
Pages 24

This short story is the family history of Ku Hua-jung, an old woman from Hsi-wu Village in Li-ch’eng hsien, Shansi Province. “Family” and “history” are the two indispensable elements of a family history. As for Auntie Ku, who is fifty-one years old, her experience over the past fifty-one years can of course be written into a “history,” but hardly into a “family history,” because for half her life she had no home of her own. Although she lived in four other homes at different times, she had no home she could really consider her own. How anyone could be called upon to write a family history for her is a difficult problem. However, she did have stories of how she had to leave her own home in order to survive and how she suffered scoldings and beatings in the homes of others; and how she suffered extreme hardships in those “nonfamily families” can be regarded as her “family history.”