The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices

by Xinran | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0099440784 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wubbaducky of on 1/25/2006
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11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wubbaducky from not specified, not specified not specified on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
A touching book detailing some of the women who touched Xinran's life during her eight years as a radio journalist. The ordinary women of China listened to Xinran's show and wrote in to her, describing their problems and lives and Xinran investigated and found them to not only be true but to be worse than described in many cases. The women suffered hard lives and they endured all that life could throw up them but they each possessed their own quiet dignity in a world where to be a woman was to suffer.

Journal Entry 2 by wubbaducky from not specified, not specified not specified on Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Welcome to The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices Bookring. I liked this book so much, I decided to send it out as a bookring in celebration of Chinese New Year.

The participants for the ring are:

totoroandmei (Japan)
amberc(Australia)
tantan (Australia)
ldpaulson(US)
marriedfairy (US)
RuthDiane (US) (Asked to be skipped)
Karenlea (US)
Azuki (US)
piggeldy (Germany)
mady (Portugal)
escalla (Portugal)
Virgulina (Portugal)
Anglersrest (UK)
wubbaducky (UK)

Please pm the next person on the list for their address once you're done and please journal the book when you receive it and send it on just to help us keep track of where it is.

Please try and keep it for a reasonable amount of time. Preferably a month - two at a stretch. If you run into trouble, please pm me and the next person on the list to let them know what's going on.

Please enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wubbaducky from not specified, not specified not specified on Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Sent the book off to totoroandmei this morning - bye bye book - hopefully see you soon...

Journal Entry 4 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Thanks a lot! I have been having a horrible day and with the cold, snow and wind I was wondering if the day would get any better. So happy to find this book in my mailbox. Thanks so much. Hope to start it in a few days as I am in the middle of another book.

Journal Entry 5 by totoroandmei from Fukuoka / 福岡市, Fukuoka-ken Japan on Saturday, March 04, 2006
Thanks Wubbaducky for sharing this book. Very powerful and it makes me remember something my mom always said after her first visit to China, "I am glad my ancestors decided to leave because I can't imagine being a woman in China." Very powerful stories are shared!

Journal Entry 6 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Tuesday, March 14, 2006
i got home on a very wet day to find this slightly damp book in my letterbox. it should dry out OK.

i have a few other bookrings before it, but will read it in the time allowed.

Journal Entry 7 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Monday, April 10, 2006
A fascinating glimpse into lives i know little about. The women in China, in all areas have a very hard life.

thanks for sharing this book wubbaducky.

posting to tantan this afternoon.

Journal Entry 8 by tantan from Townsville, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Received today - thanks amberC. I have a couple of other bookrings in front of it, but I'm getting through them as quickly as I can.

***

Edit May 16th, 2006: I'll be starting this one tonight, and I'll get it read as quickly as possible.

Journal Entry 9 by tantan from Townsville, Queensland Australia on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
This book took me forever to read, but that aside it really was quite powerful, and many of the stories were riveting. The story of the women of Shouting Hill was the one that probably hit me hardest, but they were all very worthy of being told. These women have triumphed over so much - I can't even begin to understand what they've been through.

My only nit-pick (and it's really a very small one) is that I would have liked to have heard a little about Xinran's own experiences in marriage. I presume she was married at some stage as she mentioned her son PanPan numerous times, but I don't remember having seen any mention of a husband (although there possibly was and I just forgot - like I said, it took me a long time to read :-))

Thanks so much for sharing wubbaducky - my apologies for having held on to the book for so long. It will be heading off to ldpaulson as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 10 by tantan from Townsville, Queensland Australia on Saturday, June 03, 2006
Posted to ldpaulson today.

Journal Entry 11 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Monday, June 26, 2006
This book arrived in my mailbox. Alas, I am very far behind on my reading thanks to rings/rays hitting my mailbox simultaneously. I’m reading as fast as I possibly can between other life commitments and obligations.

Journal Entry 12 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Sunday, July 09, 2006
A very interesting collection of stories that are often difficult to read. It was interesting to note the disconnect that exists between people and between regions that are mentioned throughout the book. It is impossible to not be touched by at least one of the stories in the book. Although Xinran did not reveal much of her own life, one can only surmise that the gathering and telling of these stories provided her with some sort of healing catharsis.

Journal Entry 13 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Monday, July 10, 2006
Being mailed today to the next participant. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 14 by marriedfairy from Rowesville, South Carolina USA on Thursday, July 20, 2006
Just got it today. I just finished reading the binding chair so I will start this one tonight.

Journal Entry 15 by marriedfairy from Rowesville, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, August 23, 2006
What a great book, I must put this in my want list. Some of the stories just touched my heart, some made me cry and others made me laugh. It was a really good book. Thank you for letting me read and enjoy it.

Sending a message to the next person for their address. I will let you know when I mail it out. Again thank you for such a great book.

Laura

Journal Entry 16 by marriedfairy from Rowesville, South Carolina USA on Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Ok Well I emailed RuthDiane twice and never heard back from her so I am going to the next person Karenlea. Will email again with an update.

Journal Entry 17 by marriedfairy from Rowesville, South Carolina USA on Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Ok great news! Karen got back in touch with me and I mailed it out to her today. Here is the confirmation number for the usps 0305 2200 0000 7569 3156 Thanks for letting me be apart of this.

Journal Entry 18 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Caught!!! I will start it soon. Thank you for sharing!!!

Journal Entry 19 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wow...I found the stories in this book to be very powerful and incredibly depressing. I think that this is a very important book for people to read. My two best friends that I have had since childhood are both Chinese and I feel that this book helped me understant their culture better. I also have a much clearer understanding of the Cultural Revolution. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

I will be mailing this off to the next reader on Friday.

A huge thank you to Wubbaducky for sharing this book.

Journal Entry 20 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Monday, October 09, 2006
Book arrived safely. As a Chinese living in America, I eagarly look forward to read this to know about my fellow sisters in today's China. Although, with two bookrings ahead of this, the virtue of patience is necessary.

Journal Entry 21 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
A collection of very poignant stories. The first one, The Girl Who Kept a Fly as a Pet, drawn me in immediately and all the remaining stories are no less touching. The only one I like less is probably the "University Student". To me she sounds more like a spoiled brat who thought she knows everything and is above everything.

Like totoroandmei, after reading this book I felt so thankful that my parents got out of China before the Cultural Revolution. My mom told me that they had ignorantly took a train to Guangzhou for their honeymoon, and once off the train, the Red Guards tried to grab her and cut off her braids. They immediately hopped onto the next train back. Cultural Revolution is probably the darkest page in China's history. There are many books on CR, just as there are many for Holocaust survivors, and each life experience continues to pain and move me.

Besides massive poverty, it was a wholesale destruction of a generation of childhood and youth, traditional virtues, family values, treasured cultural and historical artifacts, knowledge, human rights and many more. Its effect is reaching to today. The fervant growth of China's economy with no regards to moral and environmental impact and the hedonistic pleasure-seeking are results of the Cultural Revolution: people making up for lost time, or hoping to stock up wealthy before political winds change direction.

For anyone interested, I recommend the movie Xiu Xiu, about a young girl sent to remote region during the CR, whose story is very similar to some in this book. Another excellent movie is To Live, about a simple family surviving one misfortune after another during the revolution.

My recent readings (Princess Sultana's Daughter, Hitler's Niece, etc.) also make me feel that, everywhere in the world, there are women who suffer under men. It is so unfortunate.

I have piggeldy's address so this book should be crossing the Atlantic soon.

Thanks so much wubbaducky for sharing this wonderful book with us.

PS I don't recall the author mentioning her marriage. Maybe she's saving it for another book? Or maybe, well, it's a lot easier to tell other people's stories than your own.


Journal Entry 22 by Piggeldy from Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Friday, November 10, 2006
The book arrived here safely! I am very curious, but there's Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator to be read first.

Edit, December 6th: I PMed mady today; review will follow in a few days (I haven't finished the book yet).

Journal Entry 23 by mady from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Friday, December 15, 2006
Received this one today. I'm just about to finish another Asian book. Since I don't like to read about the same theme in such a short period, I hope that it'll be ok that I read some other book in between.
Thanks for sending it to me, Piggeldy!

Journal Entry 24 by mady from Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 10, 2007
Usually I don't read non-fiction or short story books. However, this book is both and I just loved it! It was hard stopping to read more and more, even if the stories are heavy on your heart. It was truly a "surprise" book and I've read it very fast in a period where it's taking me weeks and weeks to finish any small book... It's already on its way (via friends-mail) to Escalla :)

PS - Also I didn't notice any mention to Xinran's marriage. In fact, I've assumed she was never married...

Journal Entry 25 by Escalla from Lisboa - Parque das Nações, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Monday, January 21, 2008
Passed on by Mady.
I've had this book with me since March.
I'll pass it on to the next participant.

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