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Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother


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An extraordinarily powerful follow-up to her bestselling The Good Women of China - heartbreaking, shocking stories, including Xinran's own experience, of Chinese mothers who have lost or had to abandon their daughters and are still searching...

About the Author

Born in Beijing in 1958, Xinran was a journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London, where she wrote her bestselling book The Good Women of China. Since then she has written a regular column for the Guardian, appeared frequently on radio and TV and published Sky Burial, What the Chinese Don't Eat, a novel (Miss Chopsticks), and a groundbreaking work of oral history, China Witness. Her charity, The Mothers' Bridge of Love, was founded to help disadvantaged Chinese children and to build a bridge of understanding between the West and China.


Xinran has already made great contributions to the study of Chinese history and culture with her previous works The Good Women of China and Sky Burial. Now she adds perhaps her most important work yet. The most painful secret of a Chinese woman's life can be the "shame" of bearing a daughter. The crippling economy, one-child policy, and superstition keep this outdated practice alive. Since Xinran herself fostered a baby girl in China who was taken away from her, she writes from personal experience. To fully share these circumstances, she interviews Chinese women who had to give up or abort their daughters, the midwives, and also the families (usually Westerners) who have adopted Chinese girls. Even more moving is the afterword, a letter from an adoptive mother who writes to the birth mothers of her two daughters. She explains how the children have two loving mothers who are thankful for each other. VERDICT An essential read for those studying recent Chinese history, as well as international adoptions in the United States.-Susan Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

This is an extraordinary book told with generosity and warmth by a brilliant storyteller -- Hilary Spurling * Financial Times *
Xinran rages against the system and gives voice to adoptive mothers overseas who have rescued young Chinese girls and desolate birth mothers who grieve and feel guilt for the loss of their daughters -- Iain Finlayson * The Times *
One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved * Economist *
No bleaker picture exists of the fate of Chinese female infants...than Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother * Spectator *
Harrowing and heartbreaking yet important tales * SHE Magazine *

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