Do Not Say We Have Nothing

If you’ve ever asked me for a book recommendation, chances are it was this. Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a haunting story of the fight for family life and freedom in communist China that has stayed with me since I first read it around five years ago.

After her mother takes a refugee from the Tiananmen Square massacre into their home in Vancouver, Li-ling is confronted again with the loss her father. Over many years, she pieces together fragments of his past, as a musician during the Cultural Revolution, and learns how her and refugee Ai-ling’s families are connected.

It’s as devastating as it sounds, but also the most beautiful and captivating read. I’m so glad to have read it again (and still angry/baffled it won neither the Women’s Prize (in the year that The Power did!) not the Booker.


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