Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother

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

By (author) Xinran


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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. She has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers--students, successful businesswomen, midwives, peasants--who, whether as a consequence of the single-child policy, destructive age-old traditions, or hideous economic necessity, have given up their daughters. 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 Yangtze 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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  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 127 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 199.58g
  • 06 Mar 2012
  • Scribner Book Company
  • New York, NY
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1451610947
  • 9781451610949
  • 225,067

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Author Information

Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958 and was a successful journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London, where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women's lives, "The Good Women of China." Since then she has written a regular column for the "Guardian," appeared frequently on radio and television and published the acclaimed "Sky Burial "and a book of her "Guardian "columns called "What the Chinese Don't Eat." She lives in London but travels regularly to China.

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Review quote

"Xinran collects the heartbreaking stories of Chinese women forced to give up their baby girls....[she] is compassionate and remarkably adept at getting her interviewees to open up about their most painful memories." -"Publishers Weekly", Pick of the Week

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