Grace: An American Woman in China, 1934-1974
In 1928, Grace Divine, daughter of a conservative Chattanooga family, came to New York City, accompanied by her mother, to study opera singing. Liu Fu-chi, a scholarship student studying engineering at Columbia, lived in the same building. They met. They became friends. Only after Fu-chi left for further study in Germany did they realize they had fallen in love.
Fu-chi renounced his scholarship and returned to New York. They became engaged. An interracial marriage was illegal in Tennessee; her brothers came to intervene. Nonetheless, in 1932 at the height of the Depression, Grace and Fu-chi went to City Hall and were married.
He left for China to look for a job. Pregnant, Grace stayed behind. Then, when the baby could travel, she went to join her husband in Tientsin. She was to remain in China for the next forty years, through the Japanese Occupation, the fall of the Nationalist Government and the Cultural Revolution.
This biography, composed in large part of Grace Liu's letters and the memoir she began, has been compiled by her cousin, Eleanor McCallie Cooper, who lives in Chattanooga and her surviving child, William Liu, who now lives in Vancouver.
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