Full Circle: A Life with Hong Kong and China

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Women's Press, 2004 - History - 232 pages
This is the story of a life transformed by long exposure to the people and culture of China and East Asia. Ruth Hayhoe left Toronto at the age of twenty-one in 1967 and moved to Hong Kong, where she started her career as a teacher in an Anglo-Chinese secondary school for girls. Intending to stay six months, she spent eleven years there, teaching, studying, assisting a number of veteran China missionaries, and ultimately falling in love with Chinese people and Chinese culture. The stories of many individuals in Hong Kong, China, and Japan are interwoven into this narrative account, as Hayhoe shares what it was like to live through a series of major transitions -- from the Cultural Revolution of 1967 to Hong Kong's return to China in 1997. In 1980, Hayhoe went to teach in Shanghai's Fudan University for two years, then completed a PhD at the University of London before returning to Canada in 1984. Five years later, following the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, she was drawn back to China as Cultural Attaché in the Canadian Embassy. Subsequently, she continued to visit China for research and development work, and in 1997--the year Hong Kong was re-unified with China--she was invited to become Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, a newly established tertiary institute. With this appointment, Hayhoe's life came full circle, as she settled into the city where she had begun her teaching career 30 years earlier. Her return to Hong Kong brought back a storm of memories, prompting her to write this book in celebration of many wonderful mentors, and of the rich rewards of risk-taking and openness to the other.

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This is a great book about a great personality, much greater than many much more famous books I have read.


An Academic Career

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About the author (2004)

Ruth Hayhoe is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

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