Video recordings of Fan Shen at the 2006 UND Writers Conference.
Fan Shen grew up in Beijing and joined the Red Guard when the Cultural Revolution started in 1966. At age 14, he was sent to live with peasants and became a Barefoot Doctor at 17. After four years of harsh life, he escaped to a military aircraft factory where he became an apprentice. He received a B.A. from Lanzhou University, an M.A. from the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. from Marquette University. His book, Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard, was named by American Library Association’s Booklist as its Editors’ Choice for 2005. A story of coming of age in the midst of monumental historical upheaval, Shen’s Gang of One is more than a memoir of one young man’s harrowing ; it is also a picaresque tale of adventure full of courage, cunning, wit, tenacity, resourcefulness, and sheer luck – the story of how Shen managed to scheme his way through a hugely oppressive system and emerge triumphant. Fan Shen is currently a professor of English at Rochester Community and Technical College.