Daughter of China: A True Story of Love and Betrayal
The critically acclaimed memoir of a forbidden love affair in communist China
"An important work."-San Francisco Chronicle
"This memoir is a must-read."-San Jose Mercury News
Now in paperback, here is the stunning true tale of a remarkable woman trained as an elite soldier in the Chinese army, her forbidden love for an American, and her seemingly impossible escape-with his help-from the nation to which she had pledged her life. An astonishing testament to the enduring resilience of love and the human spirit in the face of even the most oppressive, hopeless conditions, Daughter of China offers a compelling look at life inside the rigid walls of Communist China, revealing in fascinating detail Meihong Xu's inculcation into the system-a process so effective that she would willingly betray a friend or family member to prove her loyalty. Written with clear-eyed candor and stark eloquence, Daughter of China is at once a timeless, deeply moving story of a prohibited love affair and a dramatic depiction of life under Chinese Communism.
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Daughter of China: a true story of love and betrayalUser Review - Book Verdict
This is not your typical love story. In 1988, Xu, a young, married Chinese military intelligence officer studying at the Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, fell in love with Engelmann, one of her American professors. Their reckless behavior brought down the wrath of the Chinese authorities, who, suspecting an espionage connection, arrested her and had him expelled from China. After numerous harrowing experiences (told, in this frustrating narrative, alongside flashbacks from Xu's earlier life), the lovers are miraculously reunited, marry, and move to America. (They eventually divorce in 1999.) Much of the information contained here, if true, tells an interesting tale about the workings of Chinese military intelligence education. But the problem with this thrilling tear-jerker is that it is almost impossible to distinguish truth from fiction in a story told by a self-admitted accomplished liar. The book is marred by mendacity, inconsistencies, and improbabilities: Caveat lektor.--Steven I. Levine, Mansfield Ctr., Missoula, MT ...
Fascinating read because of the inside view from a former PLA officer. That must be why this book is not available in China, where my husband and I live as expats. I recommend anybody who wants to know more about China and how a whole generation of Chinese were taught to think, read this book. It is not however, a story about "love." It is a story about survival. You need to understand that Meihong Xu's feelings for the naive American professor, while she thought it was "love," in reality, was and still is the basic instinct for survival. For a Chinese woman, to marry a foreigner is a way to get out of China. This is still the way many Chinese women think in China.