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A Song of Memories

By Moying Li M’82

Excerpt from Moying Li's memoir <i>Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution</i>. In her memoir Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution Moying Li offers a vivid and moving portrayal of her life from summer 1958 up to the day she left her homeland on the journey that brought her to Swarthmore College. She was one of the first students to leave China since 1949.

It took me over 20 years to return to my grandma Lao Lao’s old courtyard in Beijing, where I spent much of my short childhood. I was shocked to find it gone. Bulldozed. Wiped from the face of the earth. It was like discovering that a dear friend had died and realizing I had been robbed of the last chance to say goodbye. I sat on a pile of shattered gray bricks—the only remnants of my grandpa Lao Ye’s labor—watching the brisk November wind lift the withered leaves from the dusty ground, up and up and away from me. Then I closed my eyes—to remember.

Tian ’an men Diary

By Karen Linnea Searle ’84

Linnea Searle documented the democracy movement in Tian 'an men Square—20 years ago. Editor’s Note: Following are edited excerpts from a journal written by Linnea Searle (known in college as Karen) while she was a university student and teacher of English in Beijing from January to May 1989.

As a young speaker of Chinese, she could closely observe the democracy movement that is now known as Beijing Spring. The names of her Chinese friends have been changed, but events are recorded as she experienced them during that tumultuous spring. The name of the photographer must be withheld to this day.

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