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Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958. In the late 1980s she began working for Chinese radio and went on to become one of China's most successful journalists. In 1997 she moved to London, where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women's lives The Good Women of China. She now has a regular column in the Guardian.
A heartbreaking example of how history can still preserve a tight grip on the present with Xinran presenting 10 accounts from women who had to give up their daughters. If tradition were not enough then economic circumstances and China’s single-child policy also play their part. The very darkest side of this sacrifice is also revealed, with cases of girl-children minutes old being drowned. It makes for very sober reading but Xinran’s style of utterly involving herself in her narrative, her empathy for her interviewees brings a level of hope for the future. Like for Like ReadingThe Good Women of China: Hidden Voices, XinranWild Swans, Jung ChangStory of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter, Adeline Yen Mah
As a journalist and broadcaster in China, Xinran encouraged women to come forward and tell their tales. The result was astonishing and The Good Women of China, the seminal book, developed from the material. This extraordinary story expands one of those tales. It tells of a wife’s search for her husband in Tibet, a love story, a history, a clash of cultures. Quite devastating.