Xue Yiwei’s life has been marked by that of the legendary Montreal surgeon Norman Bethune, who died in China in the cause of Communism. Like other Chinese of his generation – the generation that has turned China into the world power it is today – Xue Yiwei was inspired by Dr. Bethune’s example during the Cultural Revolution. But unlike his peers, he went to the lengths of moving to Montreal, where he has lived for sixteen years as a writer acclaimed in China and – until now – unknown in Canada. This subversive novel is the story that only he could write.
Dr. Bethune’s Children, which is banned in China (it is available only in a Chinese language version published in Taiwan), focuses on individual lives marked by some of the traumatic events of recent decades that have been veiled by official secrecy. In showing us the effects of the distress and repression that have marked his whole generation, Xue Yiwei unveils the human heart.