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The Good Women of China
The Good Women of China | Xinran
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 Xinrans understanding of China forever. Her book will reveal the lives of Chinese women to the West as never before.
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blurb
llwheeler
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Dropped off one book, picked up one book. #littlefreelibrary

Just making sure I have balance in my life.

brilliantglow This has been on my tbr for a while! Looking forward to what you think of it 3mo
llwheeler @brilliantglow Same! I've read one other by Xinran that was good, so I'm expecting to enjoy this too 3mo
brilliantglow Oh thank you! I haven't heard of this one I'll have to check it out! 2mo
40 likes3 comments
review
rhymeswithvoice
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Pickpick

A devastating and moving book about the experiences and power of women.

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy 📚☕📚 @LitsyWelcomeWagon 3mo
LitsyWelcomeWagon Welcome to Litsy! Here are links to #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. There‘s lots of fun things to do: book exchanges, buddy reads, photo challenges and more!
3mo
3 likes2 comments
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LiterRohde
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“Everybody says women are like water. I think it's because water is the source of life, and it adapts itself to its environment. Like women, water also gives of itself wherever it goes to nurture life....”

#WanderingJune | 3: #ChinaGirl

📷: Made with Typorama

BarbaraBB Beautiful comparison although I never heard anyone say women are like water 😉. It may be a Chinese expression! 😘 5mo
LiterRohde @BarbaraBB I‘ve not read the book, but I believe that‘s the point - thoughts about Chinese women from Chinese women. Many things come back to nature for the Chinese. 5mo
BarbaraBB That sounds very interesting! 5mo
Cinfhen I think I‘ve seen comparisons that women are like water/ air and men are like fire @BarbaraBB 5mo
Suet624 @Cinfhen I have as well. 5mo
61 likes5 comments
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Andrea313
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This book is on my TBR! The stories are primarily drawn from interviews the author conducted during her time as a radio broadcaster in China in the 1980s, and I've read that the author had to leave China in order to write the book, which was published in Britain. #ChinaGirl #WanderingJune
@Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

TrishB Great minds👍🏻 I‘ve just done this one too and I haven‘t read it yet either! 5mo
Andrea313 @TrishB If you get there before me, I'd love to hear your thoughts! It looks fascinating. 5mo
Cinfhen I was just gonna say you & @TrishB had the same good thought!! 5mo
17 likes3 comments
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TrishB
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#chinagirl #wanderingjune
Still on the tbr 🤷‍♀️

Cinfhen Sounds really fascinating 5mo
Birdsong28 Such a good book, harrowing at times but good 📚📖 5mo
TrishB @Birdsong28 I will get to it eventually! 5mo
See All 7 Comments
Caroline2 I loved this book. It‘s really tough at times but very well written. 👍🏻 5mo
TrishB @Caroline2 it Ly oks great, I just never seem to get to it. 5mo
Caroline2 @TrishB I know what you mean. I had it on my shelf for yearsss, it‘s moved house with me 3 times! 😆 it was only when it came up on some Litsy challenge thing that I actually read it. 🤷‍♀️ it‘s not as dry or depressing as it looks tho! 👍🏻 5mo
Caroline2 I was the same. It was on my shelf for yearssss, moved house with me 3 times! I finally read it for a Litsy challenge thing. It‘s not as depressing or hard work as it sounds tho. 👍🏻 5mo
90 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
Reviewsbylola
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Pickpick

Thank you to @Caroline2 and #newyearwhodis for putting this book on my radar. It is the devastating, brutal read that gives a voice to the unheard women of China.

Xinran was a radio host of a women‘s program in China in the 80s and 90s, shortly after the Cultural Revolution came to an end. She made it her mission to give women an outlet to share their stories. Every single one is almost unbelievable in its severity and heartache.

Caroline2 I‘m so glad you liked it but it is a heartbreaking read isn‘t it! 😔 10mo
emilyhaldi Sounds brutal 💔 10mo
Itchyfeetreader Sounds powerful, I‘ve stacked 10mo
111 likes12 stack adds3 comments
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Reviewsbylola
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My #bathandbook tonight looks to be a good one!

Jee_HookedOnBookz I absolutely loved this book! 10mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m reading it for #newyearwhodis! It was one of @caroline2‘s favorite reads from last year. @Jee_HookedOnBookz 10mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz What a good pick!! 👍🏼👍🏼 10mo
Caroline2 Oh I hope you like it. It pretty hard hitting so I won‘t say enjoy! 😳 ps I‘ve started I capture the castle and I‘m loving it so far!! 😍 10mo
Mdargusch I need that mask! 10mo
123 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
RachLovesTV
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Pickpick

A starkly painful yet lovingly honest glimpse into the lives of Chinese women from the 1950s through the 1990s. Xinran, a radio host and journalist, developed a deep passion throughout her life and career to track down and share the untold stories of her fellow women, a need perhaps spurred on by her own painful past, a long kept secret. This book was very hard to read at times, but so important.

review
Caroline2
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Pickpick

A radio journalist gathers stories from women throughout China in the 20th century. From the rise communism and the Cultural Revolution to the 1990s; the treatment of women was brutal and heartbreaking. I'm surprised it's not been selected for Our Shared Shelf yet. The writing is beautiful; this is going to stay with me a long time! Highly recommend - 5 stars! ⭐️

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 need to move up my tbr! 2y
Joanne1 Haven't thought of this book for years but your review bought it all back. Such an eye opening read. 2y
Caroline2 @TrishB it's really good Trish and the writing is absolutely beautiful!!! But it is hard hitting and emotional reading! 😔 2y
69 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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Caroline2
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I remember buying this book when I was planning to teach English in China over 10yrs ago! Yes, this book has sat on my TBR shelf for over 10yrs!!! 😱 my mission this year is to conquer Mount TBR and make sure I start with all the books that have been on my shelf for years! 👍🏻 (so far this one is really good btw 😁)

ClairesReads I loved this, it‘s so interesting 2y
TrishB Ohhh I‘ve had this on my pile for a while too! I‘ll look forward to your review. Next #whodunnituk in post to you today. 2y
65 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Caroline2
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Well this a great first page...the author fights a mugger because her bag had her book in it!! ?? ? ?
"Of course, life is more important than a book. But in so many ways my book was my life."

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Clare_Riley
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My only reason for taking this out of the library was that the authors name began with an X. It has consistently surprised me and had me close to tears a number of times. How things like this can be normalised in any kind of society, I will never understand. I think this counts as a lucky find, though. #LitsyAtoZ

Tamra This sounds moving, stacked! 2y
Clare_Riley @Tamra it‘s worth it - there are lots of different stories about women in China. And knowing that they are all real and these things really happened...some, if not most, of the stories are heartbreaking. 2y
9 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Susanita
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Some tough stories and a few that are more hopeful. Letter X accomplished for #litsyatoz and #litsypartofone resumed for a day.

26 likes1 stack add
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shawnmooney
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TOKYO USED BOOKSTORE HAUL - BOOK 5 OF 15

I'd only vaguely heard of Xinran but when I read on the back that this is a series of profiles of Chinese women based on a radio talkshow for and about them which she hosted in China, I knew I just had to read it!

Louise Oh, that sounds good! 2y
38 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Suzze
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According to GOODreads, I have 37 books on my shelves with GOOD in the title. The first four I have read and really liked. The last three I have not yet read but I'm looking forward to them. #AprilBookShowers #titlewithGOOD

ephemeralwaltz Awesome! That's a lot. 3y
101 likes1 stack add1 comment
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LindsayReads
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When China began to open up in the 80s, Xinran created a radio show to give a voice to previously silenced Chinese women. #thebacksofwomen #marchintorreading

erzascarletbookgasm I heard this is so good..waiting for me on my shelf :) 3y
46 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Susanita
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Looking forward to reading this for #litsyatoz and #readharderchallenge book set 5000+ miles away. #booksbyasianwriters #readjanuary @RealLifeReading

review
jenniferheidi
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Pickpick

Finished this on the Heathrow bus on Friday. It's a powerful and memorable collection of Chinese women's stories, mostly from the Cultural Revolution. (Top tip: don't read on a plane after a couple of British Airways strength gin and tonics 😭)

1 like1 stack add