In 1966 Mao Zedong unleashed the Cultural Revolution, a brutal and bloody campaign aimed at obliterating the past and building a new China on the rubble of its ancient civilization. Now it is 1988, and while the tide of change has turned for the better, the legacy of Mao lingers on in the minds of former devotees and victims alike. Five years have passed since China's first tentative opening to the outside world, and the effects are undeniable. Initially overawed by foreign customs, China's youngsters have become increasingly restless, frustrated by the rigid system that has bound them for so long. Frightened by their children's foolhardy defiance of the Party, a group of friends gather to relive the past, hoping they can restore a sense of reality before it is too late. "May You Live In Interesting Times" is an intelligent and compassionate work spanning decades of turmoil. Willem Dijkstra has produced a novel of considerable depth, weaving individual suffering and anguish into a broader tapestry of mass political persecution and terror. Through characters such as Xu Suping and Dao Huimin, Willem Dijkstra not only brings the nightmare of Mao's China sharply into focus, but he also succeeds in capturing the essence of the Chinese: exasperating, stubborn, warm-hearted and eternally resilient.