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Dr. Han Suyin: The Morning Deluge

Scholars Charles Ruas and Dr. Han Suyin discuss the sociological implications of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the topic of Suyin's historical study Wind in the Tower: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution, 1949-1975 (1972). Recorded in 1976 with the Maoist Cultural Revolution only recently dissolved (Mao's death, Gang of Four, rise of Deng Xiaoping, the consequences for those impacted was tangible.

Rather than discuss the book in a literal sense, Ruas and Suyin engage in a dialogue about life in China leading up to and following The Cultural Revolution. Topics include sociopolitical shifts in Chinese legislation and Western perspectives of the revolutionary happenings. Suyin also divulges, among other subjects, her experiences as a wife to a general of Chiang Kai-shek, and how she came to be a midwife and, ultimately, an accidental writer.

Beyond his WBAI programs, Charles Ruas has written on topics related to Chinese literature and social history. Born in Tianjin, the distinguished Fulbright scholar, French translator, and contributor to ARTNews and Art in America brings forth this perspective during his interview with Dr. Han Suyin.

Dr. Han Suyin (1917-2012) was the pen name of Elizabeth Comber (Rosalie Matilda Kuanghu Chou). Entirely self-educated, she went from being a midwife to an acclaimed writer, authoring memoirs and books in English and French about modern China. In tangent with the Chinese Writers Association, Han Suyin funded the "National Rainbow Award for Best Literary Translation," now the Lu Xun Literary Award for Best Literary Translation. Some of her other works include: A Many-Splendoured Thing (1952, that became an acclaimed Hollywood film and popular song), The Crippled Tree (1965), Birdless Summer (1968), My House Has Two Doors (1980), and The Enchantress (1985).


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.