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  • Published: 10 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473549203
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

Our Story

A Memoir of Love and Life in China




A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose.

A graphic memoir like no other: the true story of a marriage in China that spanned the twentieth century, told in vibrant, original paintings and prose.

WINNER OF AN ENGLISH PEN AWARD

Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he first saw the beautiful Mao Meitang. One glimpse of her through a window as she put on lipstick was enough to capture Pingru’s heart. It was a moment that sparked a union that would last almost sixty years.

But when Meitang passed away in 2008, Pingru realised that their marriage and all the small moments and memories of a life together, would be lost to history. And so at the age of eighty-eight, in an outpouring of love and grief, Pingru began to paint.

Our Story is a memorial to Pingru and Meitang’s epic romance, told through Pingru’s exquisitely detailed paintings and handwritten notes. We see Pingru and Meitang through the decades, through both poverty and good fortune, and as they grow so too does China: the nation undergoing political turmoil and seismic cultural change.

A tale both tragic and inspiring, of enduring love and simple values, Our Story is an old-fashioned romance that unfolds within the rush of a rapidly changing nation. A love letter, a work of folk art and a historical testament, Our Story is a truly unique graphic memoir.

'A beautifully warm, personal, human story of life, love and family' Forbidden Planet

  • Published: 10 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473549203
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 368

About the author

Rao Pingru

Rao Pingru was born in 1922. He lives in Shanghai, China. Our Story is his first book.

Praise for Our Story

A deeply moving love letter… Almost every page is gorgeously illustrated with his enchanting, sometimes heartbreaking paintings

Asia Review of Books

Pingru, [at age] 95, makes his literary debut with a charming memoir illustrated with his own evocative watercolors... A graceful, gently told narrative of contentment and resilience

Kirkus Reviews

Thanks to the persuasive power of its humane and humorous author, Our Story is as hard to resist as the great, rich, rambling serial narratives of the oral storytellers who travelled from one Chinese village to another

Hilary Spurling, The Spectator

His pictures tell expressively of his talent for observation but also of his capacity for happiness… A wonderful book, full of energy and curiosity

Muriel Zagha, Elephant

A beautifully warm, personal, human story of life, love and family

Forbidden Planet

Humane and humorous... Our Story is as hard to resist as the great, rich, rambling serial narratives of the oral storytellers who travelled from one Chinese village to another in the past, drawing entire populations out of their houses to sit on the hillside and listen

Spectator

A masterpiece of memory... Our Story is a deeply personal portrait of Rao Pingru's life and marriage as well as a gripping account of China in the 20th century

The Culture Trip

Using spare prose and stunning, full-colour illustrations, Pingru reveals his struggles, joys, and enduring love for his wife over the course of their lives in a dramatically changing China... Pingru's exquisite, visually dazzling memoir reveals an ordinary life lived in extraordinary times

Publisher's Weekly

Pingru’s intimate, illustrated memoir of a life shared with his wife, Meitang, offers a touching portrait of marriage. The story is driven by rich memories of everyday life...paired with Pingru’s expressive ink drawings... Our Story makes a compelling case for love’s power

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