Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao's ascent to the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989.
It is a history of revolutionary idealism, music and silence, in which three musicians - the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow; the violin prodigy, Zhuli; and the enigmatic pianist, Kai - struggle during China's relentless Cultural Revolution to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to.
"Full of wisdom and complexity, comedy and beauty, Thien has delivered a novel that is both hugely political and severe, but at the same time delicate and intimate." (Kate Whiting,
"A magnificent epic of Chinese history, richly detailed and beautifully written." (Kate Saunders, The Times)
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