Knowing Miss Chen
Knowing Miss Chen by Jerrine R Weigand is a tale of two worlds; a memoir filled with fascinating and challenging experiences of a foreign couple invited by the government of Qinghai Province, China, to work on their new policy "Opening to the West". It is also the life story of Chen Yu Hua, their young interpreter.
This is about living and learning a strange and fascinating culture. It touches Chinese history, religion, politics, the Great Cultural Revolution, the changing times as China struggles with failing state owned enterprises and the challenges of developing a Market Economy. But mostly it is about people, the Chen family, and every day life working in China.
Miss Chen grew up in Chairman Mao's China during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. Hers is not the average tale of a school girl; the personal stories Miss Chen reveals to the author provide insight and understanding of a tumultuous period in Chinese history. Chen Yu Hua experienced, first hand, both the authority of the Red Guard and the tragedy of Tiananmen Square.
Weigand tries to dispel the myths and misconceptions held by many Westerners about Chinese people and their culture. She and her husband came to appreciate the wonderful humor of the Chinese, their curiosity and desire to understand Westerners, and in turn their need to be understood.
Knowing Miss Chen will enlighten, entertain and sadden, leaving readers feeling rewarded for their experience. Reviews
"Jerrine Weigand has written about modern China through the eyes of an average Canadian visiting a whole new world — but Chen Yu Hua is not the average obedient Chinese daughter dominated by ancient traditions. Whoever reads this story will have a greater understanding of modern China and its people."
-Florence Whyard, CM, Longtime journalist, editor and biographer in Yukon and Northwest Territories.
"I read your book twice with much laughing and tearing. It is very educational, informative and amusing. I am amazed how clearly you describe in detail Chen Yu Hua's past and how accurate you present the emotional settings. I like your analysis of the Chinese way of thinking and habits. It helped me understand myself even better. I think this is a wonderful book. Both interesting for Westerners and Chinese. I would encourage you to translate it into Chinese where you will have many readers."
-Xiu-Mei (Sue May) Zhang, MD, Dr. TCM, Whitehorse, Yukon.