A memoir – The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath

The World of a Tiny Insect is a wonderful memoir of a childhood spent in the violence of the Taiping Rebellion. The author was 7 years when the rebellion began. He wrote his memoir in 1893, 30 years later. It is now translated into English in 2013. The translator Tian Xiao Fei is a professor of Chinese literature at Harvard University. She has usefully annotated the text. According to her, she stumbled upon this manuscript when the title The World of a Tiny Insect caught her eye though it is a pity, she did not give the year of her discovery. For a good history of the Taiping Rebellion, I highly recommend God’s Chinese Son by Jonathan Spence and Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom by Stephen R Platt.

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