The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices

Front Cover
Vintage Canada, 2003 - Women - 243 pages
An unprecedented, intimate account of the lives of modern Chinese women, told by the women themselves -- true stories of the political and personal upheavals they have endured in their chaotic and repressive society

For eight groundbreaking years, Xinran hosted a radio program in China during which she invited women to call in and talk about themselves. Broadcast every evening, Words on the Night Breeze became famous throughout the country for its unflinching portrayal of what it meant to be a woman in modern China. Centuries of obedience to their fathers, husbands and sons, followed by years of fear under Communism, had made women terrified of talking openly about their feelings. Xinran won their trust and, through her compassion and ability to listen, became the first woman to hear their true stories.

This unforgettable book is the story of how Xinran negotiated the minefield of restrictions imposed on Chinese journalists to reach out to women across the country. Through the vivid intimacy of her writing, these women confide in the reader, sharing their deepest secrets. Whether they are the privileged wives of party leaders or peasants in a forgotten corner of the countryside, they tell of almost inconceivable suffering: forced marriages, sexual abuse, separation of parents from their children, extreme poverty. But they also talk about love -- about how, despite cruelty, despite politics, the urge to nurture and cherish remains. Their stories changed Xinran’s understanding of China forever. Her book will reveal the lives of Chinese women to the West as never before.

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User Review  - bradleybleck - LibraryThing

Contemporary China as seen through the eyes of some of its women as seen yet again through the eyes and ears of a radio talk show host who looks at the lives of women. Read full review

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User Review  - paperdust -

The host uses her radio station as a platform for women to voice their suppressed past abuse and torment. In hope that more will be done to teach ethnic women about sex education, self-defence, women ... Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Xinran was born in 1958. After a career in the army, she became a journalist in the late 1980s, working as a radio broadcaster and as head of Jiangsu Broadcasting Television. A professor of psychology, Xinran now lives in England.

From the Hardcover edition.

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