Tag Archives: Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Te-Ping Chen: Writing China: Madeleine Thien, ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’


Madeleine Thien Photo: Babak Salari

In Ms. Thien’s novel, multiple generations are linked by an at-times taboo love for Western music

Even during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, China maintained a symphony orchestra at the behest of Mao’s wife. It’s one of the surprising artifacts of history unearthed in Madeleine Thien’s latest novel, “Do Not Say We Have Nothing,” a rich, sprawling tale centered on tragedies that unfold at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music amid the brutal struggles of that era. Continue reading