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900 million out of China’s 1.3-billion population are peasantry. For a long time, however, most of the oppidan are not familiar with the living state of the country. The great family-contract production reform in the late 1970s that shook the world seemed have completely transformed the bleak visage of China’s villages into a better world, with many rich families emerging like bamboo shoots after a spring rain. But with the continuous development of city reforms that followed, little news about Chinese agriculture, villages and farmers were reported until the high tide of millions of farm labors that swarmed into the cities for works at the end of last century once again attracted the worldwide attention.|
A Survey about Chinese Peasantry （《中国农民调查》）is a realistic reportage based on three years of arduous, carpet field investigations by the authors -- famous writers Chen Guidi and Chun Tao, the couple -- in all of the villages of Central China’s Anhui province. The collected materials and discarded drafts accumulate nearly as high as full-length, and the difficulties and devious stories incorporated into the survey experience are hard to describe.
China’s modernization will never get accomplished without the modernization of the country. However, if you come near the real lives of Chinese peasantry, you will understand why there is still a long, long way to go. I read through the Survey with tears bubbling in my eyes all the time, and I am sure you will gain more than tears from Chinese farmers’ fortunes the reportage tells of.
P.S. A Survey about Chinese Peasantry, authored by Chen Guidi and Chun Tao, Dang Dai (当代 ISSN 0257-0165), No 6, 2003, The People’s Literature Publishing House (人民文学出版社). And a separate edition has also been published by the same institution recently in Chinese Mainland.