Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love


By (author) Xinran

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  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 206mm x 28mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 3 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1451610890
  • ISBN 13: 9781451610895
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Sales rank: 702,488

Product description

Following her internationally bestselling book "The Good Women of China, "Xinran has written one of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women. Her searing stories of mothers who have been driven to abandon their daughters or give them up for adoption is a masterful and significant work of literary reportage and oral history. Xinran has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers--students, successful businesswomen, midwives, peasants--who have given up their daughters. Whether as a consequence of the single-child policy, destructive age-old traditions, or hideous economic necessity, these women had to give up their daughters for adoption; others even had to watch as their baby daughters were taken away at birth and drowned. Xinran beautifully portrays the "extra-birth guerrillas" who travel the roads and the railways, evading the system, trying to hold on to more than one baby; naive young girl students who have made life-wrecking mistakes; the "pebble mother" on the banks of the Yangzte River still looking into the depths for her stolen daughter; peasant women rejected by their families because they can't produce a male heir; and Little Snow, the orphaned baby fostered by Xinran but confiscated by the state. For parents of adopted Chinese children and for the children themselves, this is an indispensable, powerful, and intensely moving book. "Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother "is powered by love and by heartbreak and will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page.

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Review quote

[Xinrans] program and now this book gave a voice to some of the poorest women in Chinese society, whose stories would otherwise never be heard MESSAGE FROM AN UNKNOWN CHINESE MOTHER is full of heart-rending tales. They are shocking, simply told and augmented with passages that provide information about matters like the one-child policy, the history of orphanages and Chinese adoption lawsA very powerful polemic. --"New York Times Book Review"