My Name is Number 4 (Ting-xing Ye) – biography


After Ting-xing Ye was born her great aunt declared, “Ah Si shi ge lau lu ming” – Number Four will have a difficult life – for the signs were unlucky. Events soon proved true this cruel prediction.

Here is the true story of fourteen-year-old Ting-xing’s tumultuous life turned upside down by China’s Cultural Revolution. After the death of both her parents, Ting-xing and her four siblings endure the brutality of Red Gaurd attacks on their schools and even their house as they struggle against poverty and hunger. At sixteen, Ting-xing is exiled to a prison farm far from home.

Full of personal and historical detail about this dramatic  period in Chinese history, My Name is Number 4 has at its centre the feisty and courageous Ting-xing, fighting to survive as a young woman caught up in events beyond her control.

I feel like the events in this book should have happened long before they did. But I feel that way even while watching the news, so yeah… Anyway, it probably would be helpful to have some idea of the history of China before reading this, but it’s not like it’s actually necassary. It’s an interesting enough book, but in all honesty, I’m not actually a big fan of biographies (unless they’re in a diary form or written while it’s happening) because it always seems like the writer is forgetting something, not remember something or just doesn’t get all the emotion across. That being said, I did finish reading this, so it is well written and interesting.


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