Born in Beijing, China in 1955, Yuci Tan and her "American-spy" father lived through very difficult times together during the Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966 and lasted for ten years. Her Chinese father - raised in Hong Kong and educated in a Christian school - worked as editor and English translator for China's International News Agency. During the Cultural Revolution, her father was incarcerated as a disloyal traitor - a spy for the Americans (untrue!) - and the authorities ordered her to cut off all relationship with him. In this provocative and vividly descriptive narrative, Yuci Tan details the many facets of 1970s Chinese society and the hardships endured by common people under the Communist regime. All the while, her father, under intense political pressure and scrutiny, somehow managed to single-handedly raise and educate her, as only a totally committed and loving father could. Despite these hardships, Yuci Tan consulted her inner world for guidance and stood up to the authorities in support of her father. Although the government forced her to be re-educated through hard labour, she took a unique look at things.
She learned to value every present moment to minimise her suffering. More than an insider's history of Mao's Regime, AN AMERICAN-SPY FATHER is a moving and memorable expose, featuring the colourful lives of many forgotten people. Yuci Tan offers therapeutic insights along the way and used these experiences to pursue her dream of ultimately becoming a doctor - and fulfilling the dreams of two generations. At heart, her personal story is a daughter's loving appreciation for an unforgettably kind and wise father.