If you're paying much closer attention to my reviews than I think you are, you will recall that I gave a thumbs up to Anchee Min's coming of age in China during the Cultural Revolution story, Wild Ginger, back in July ought eight. Red Azalea covers similar territory, but this time it's openly autobiographical.
It's the typical Chinese story--city girl gets sent to a farm to be a peasant, falls in love with female commander, gets discovered and is brought back to the city to possibly be in a movie, gets fucked with by the Party, has another love affair with someone in power, gets redeemed by the Party, gets fucked over again by the Party--you get the idea.
I don't mean to make light of it. Min comes through as a remarkable person, for her honest and engaging writing and also because she managed to leave China in 1984 when she was in her late 20s and spoke no English, with the help of film school friend Joan Chen (the hottie from Twin Peaks).