This book was really well written and the stories are simply stated.
Each chapter is about a different woman, and Xinran's relationship to them (if applicable).
There's a few standout stories: one about a girl who kept a fly as a pet, and is heartbroken when she can't find it. It's a story told through letters between the girl and another friend of hers. The other one that stands out in my mind is the story of a woman who is a salvager, sorting through other people's garbage and selling what she finds. Xinran develops a friendship with her and eventually discovers some secrets about her life.
I don't want to give too much away about each story, so I'll leave it at that. This book was good enough for me to read several times before I decided to pass it to someone else.
Xinran reveals a small glimpse into the lives of Chinese women across time. It's fascinating (and somewhat depressing) to read of these women's lives, and how they were affected by the political changes in China over the last 60+ years.
As the mother of a daughter born in China, I personally found these stories compelling. When my daughter is old enough, and if she is interested, I believe this book will help her understand--just a little--what her life might have been like if she'd been raised in her country of birth.
Very good book. So moving and heart wrenching. I had to put it down several times because it got so intense for me. But I still strongly recommend this book.
An intense, moving book chronicling the life stories of varied Chinese women. Highly recommended.
Excellent book, I highly reccommend it.
Good book. interesting the lives of the Chinese women
very good. every woman should read it.
A moving collection of individual female accounts of life in Communist China
An insightful book on the lives of Chinese women. It will touch your heart.
Don't judge a book by its title! This is one lesson I learned from The Good Women of China. A gift from a family friend, it languished on my bookshelf for many months because I thought it would be steeped in quasi-sentimental metaphors. Instead, it is a collection of the most poignant stories that former radio presenter Xinran encountered through her career at Radio Nanjing in the 1990s, when China was opening up under Deng Xiaoping's orders. Growing up amidst chaos, political and emotional repression, and ignorance about sex and relationships, through interviewing many women Xinran tries to understand and share reflections on the nature of Chinese women. Her nightly program, Words on the Night Breeze, became very popular among female listeners. In somewhat formal and stilted language (perhaps inherent to translation), this is a book that Xinran could not write until she moved to London, for it describes the horrors of the Cultural Revolution in terms of forced marriages, rapes, and general abuse for being of the wrong background. It provided a valuable glimpse into that tumultuous period (which is conceivably the reason for this gift), but this is a work that can easily make one feel pessimistic about men and the persistently unequal gender roles in Chinese culture lest one can detect the slim silver lining in the strength of the women who endured. They are good because they spoke up, not because they followed the Confucian virtue of silence and modesty.