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The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Xinran Xinran

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8142811,186 (3.99)62
Member:booksandwine
Title:The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices
Authors:Xinran Xinran
Info:Anchor (2003), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran (2002)

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» See also 62 mentions

English (21)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I've read this book with great interest. First of all, it is set in a part of the world that's very foreign and I always like to read more about it, to get to know it better. I hope one day I'll be able to visit.
The second reason why I liked this book so much, is that it covers a subject that is not common at all, and that it has been written with a, for Chinese measures, rare frankness.

It is very hard to pick a favorite, or even to say I have a favorite, for all stories are good. The ones I liked best though are: The Scavenger Woman and The Guomindang General's Daughter.
The whole book got under my skin, where it'll linger on for some time. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 28, 2014 |
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. ( )
  bradleybleck | Jun 4, 2013 |
Xinran was the presenter of a radio show in China, during which she would ask women to call her and tell her about themselves. Over the years, she gathered many stories of Chinese women, and this book contains fifteen of them, including her own. It's a diverse collection of stories, including the stories of a lesbian woman, of loveless forced marriages, of hopeless love stories, of women who were raped as children...

They're eye-opening, saddening, horrifying. Xinran's matter of fact tone -- though no doubt partly due to the translation -- doesn't do anything to hide that. I wouldn't say that any story in here is actually a happy one.

Worth reading, though, yes. If you want to learn about Chinese women through the eyes of a Chinese woman, The Good Women of China will definitely help, while at the same time it doesn't dump information on you in big blobs -- the idea is to give these women of China a voice, really, not to educate the West. Xinran doesn't just speak of other women, and her own story runs through it all, with her own thoughts and reactions contextualising the stories. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
A collection of women's stories as told to Xinran, whose radio show aired in China in the 90's. Parts of Xinran's own story is interspersed with those of the women who called or wrote her. ( )
  ziziaaurea | Apr 25, 2011 |
As a radio presenter, the author uses her position and influence to highlight the plight of women. Callers to her show are given the opportunity to air their stories of anguish, suppression and mistreatment by men who valued them as mere objects. It is very depressing. While I think these stories need to be told, I hope more could be done, such as educating women about sex education, self-defence, women's rights and gender equality; all these fundamental issues should be incorporated into the basic education.

(i) "Men are like mountains; they only know the ground beneath their feet, and the trees on their slopes. But women are like water...the source of life and it adapts itself to the environment. Like water, women also gives of itself wherever it goes to nurture life". (ii) "The sun is giving; women love - their experience is the same." (iii) "Heaven and earth seemed to have merged. The sun had not yet risen, but its light already spilled from a great distance across the immense canvas, touching the stones on the hills, and gilding the yellow-grey earth gold." ( )
  paperdust | Apr 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Xinranprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Formo, ToneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Langhaeuser, SigridÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pape, Sofia PascualTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascual, Ana SofíaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Probst, Marie-OdileTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijsewijk, Erica vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solé, XeviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For every Chinese woman
and for my son PanPan
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At nine o'clock on 3 November 1999, I was on my way home from teaching an evening class at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
For eight groundbreaking years, Xinran presented a radio programme in China during which she invited women to call in and talk about themselves. Broadcast every evening, Words on the Night Breeze became famous through 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 political turmoil 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, the women's voices confide in the reader, sharing their deepest secrets for the first time. Their stories changed Xinran's understanding of China forever. Her book will reveal the lives of Chinese women to the West as never before.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099440784, Paperback)

For eight groundbreaking years, Xinran presented a radio programme in China during which she invited women to call in and talk about themselves. Broadcast every evening, Words on the Night Breeze became famous through 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 political turmoil 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, the women's voices confide in the reader, sharing their deepest secrets for the first time. Their stories changed Xinran's understanding of China forever. Her book will reveal the lives of Chinese women to the West as never before.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:01 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

For eight groundbreaking years, Xinran presented a radio programme in China during which she invited women to call in and talk about themselves. Broadcast every evening, Words on the Night Breeze became famous through 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 political turmoil 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, the women's voices confide in the reader, sharing their deepest secrets for the first time.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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