the two month period of political turmoil in Xi’an, China, which
climaxed in the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the lives of an
professor and a young Chinese couple are intertwined as they take part
deadly riot, a hunger strike, attempted immolation, the Tiananmen
incident, and more.
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of the Bright Moon...
Deng Xiaoping said that when
you open the windows,
the flies come in. In the Spring of 1989, China opened its windows
wider then ever before to the fresh breezes of freedom. From Deng’s
point of view, the flies had come in and needed to be swatted.
One fly had stopped beating its wings today. Hu
Yaobang had died, and the government would not announce it for three
more days. Then the rumor would brew that he had been swatted. The
rumor would be enough to stir up the hurricane of events, the eye of
which would sweep across Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and the winds of
which would extend out thousands of miles to batter all of China. Eight
hundred miles southwest of Beijing, the city of Xi’an where Professor
Dan Norton was teaching American literature and Western history would
be especially hard hit.
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