Mother Shao Hua

December 20, 2013
By Chen YuanEditor: Amanda Wu

The cover of the book Mother Shao Hua []

The cover of the book Mother Shao Hua []

Mother Shao Hua, written by General Mao Xinyu, the only grandson of the late Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976), is a biography of General Mao's mother Shao Hua (1938-2008), a major general in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (CPLA) and a photographer.

Mother Shao Hua is the first biography of Shao as well as the first book to reveal the lives of Chairman Mao's descendants.

Published by the Beijing-based China Workers Publishing House, the book consists of four parts, covering Shao's hard early life, her relationships with family members, her way of living and her love of photography.

Shao was born Chen Anyun in Yan'an, the birthplace of the Chinese Communist revolution, in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, in 1938, and went through ups and downs in her early life.

Shao began working as a photographer in the 1950s and traveled extensively throughout the country after the Chinese Civil War fought between forces loyal to the government of the Republic of China (1912-1949) led by the Kuomintang (KMT) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

In September 1960, Shao married Mao Anqing (1923-2007), the second son of Chairman Mao and his first wife Yang Kaihui (1901-1930). Mao Anqing, a Russian linguist, worked as a translator and never became active in politics. He suffered from a mental illness due to a bad beating in 1930 and died of a heart attack in 2007 at the age of 84.

In her married life, Shao took care of her elderly mother and her sick husband and educated their son Mao Xinyu. Meanwhile, she also tried hard to carve out a career in photography.

Chairman Mao wrote an inscription for Shao in the name of a father, "Shao Hua is a good child."

She became president of the China Photographers Association (CPA) in 2002 and served in that position until her death in 2008.

Besides depicting Shao's life, the book also unfolds the ups and downs, advantages and disadvantages as well as the simple happiness of China's First Revolutionary Family.

Shao's son and the book's author, Mao Xinyu, was born in 1970. He graduated from the History Department of the Beijing-based Renmin University of China in 1992 and joined the CPC in 1993.

He began working as a researcher at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Sciences, where he completed his doctorate. He was promoted to the rank of major general in the PLA in June 2009.

He has published more than 10 books, including Grandfather Mao Zedong and My Uncle Mao Anying. In addition, his doctoral dissertation on Chairman Mao's tactics during offensives won a prize as one of the 2009 National 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations.

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