Andrew Kwong was only seven when he witnessed his first execution. The grim scene left him sleepless, anxious and doubtful about his fervour as a revolutionary in Mao’s New China. Yet he knew if he devoted himself to the Party and its Chairman he would be saved. That’s what his teacher told him.
Months later, it was his own father on trial. This time the sentence was banishment to a re-education camp, not death. It left the family tainted, despised, and with few means of survival during the terrible years of persecution and famine known as the Great Leap Forward. Even after his father returned, things remained desperate.
Escape seemed the only solution, and it would be twelve-year-old Andrew who undertook the perilous journey first.
One Bright Moon is a poignant, resonant story of a young boy’s awakening – to survival, education, fulfilment, and eventually to a new life of freedom.
Andrew Kwong was born in Zhongshan in the Pearl River Delta, China, and educated in China, Hong Kong and Australia. He works as a family physician on the Central Coast of New South Wales. He has published many short stories and has been the recipient of numerous writing awards and fellowships. His upbringing during the Great Leap Forward was seminal. Those brutal times contrasted with the affection he received from his family and friends, which ultimately shaped his determined and hopeful spirit.
“Heart-breaking, honest, personal, Andrew Kwong’s moving journey from oppression to freedom is inspiring.” – Susanne Gervay, OAM, author
Image: One Bright Moon – courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers