Inside the front cover, I’d written:
Julia Clarke, Bristol, 1968.
Fifty years later, I took the Little Red Book with me to China. It wasn't until we got to Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan province, that I found someone to give it to.
San Lang told us another story, about Liang Fang’s mother (?), who also attempted suicide, by throwing herself in the river. But she was rescued and lived to raise 14 children, including her own. The other children’s mothers had to work on the farm to provide enough food for them all.
- I’m not sure how Liang Fang met her husband, nor when they got married, but San Lang had already told us that while he was away in the army and Liang Fang, who was an attractive young woman, was living in the countryside, somebody spread rumours that she was having affairs with other men.When he heard the rumours, her husband wrote to her saying that he wanted a divorce. But she replied that she would not agree to a divorce that was requested in a letter and told him he must come and talk to her himself. When he came to see her, he realised that the stories had been lies, and they were able to reaffirm their love for each other, which lasted until (and beyond) his death last year.
Mao's rejection of Buddhism is denied by the author of a Buddhist-Marxist alliance web site and when I gave Liang Fang my Little Red Book, although she couldn’t read the English, she was delighted when I showed her Lin Biao’s preface in the front. She glanced at her daughter, as if seeking approval, and took the Buddhist prayer beads from her wrist and gave them to me.