The Good Women of China by Xinran
Hidden Voices

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Synopsis

When Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to “open up” China took root in the late 1980s, Xinran recognized an invaluable opportunity. As an employee for the state radio system, she had long wanted to help improve the lives of Chinese women. But when she was given clearance to host a radio call-in show, she barely anticipated the enthusiasm it would quickly generate. Operating within the constraints imposed by government censors, “Words on the Night Breeze” sparked a tremendous outpouring, and the hours of tape on her answering machines were soon filled every night. Whether angry or muted, posing questions or simply relating experiences, these anonymous women bore witness to decades of civil strife, and of halting attempts at self-understanding in a painfully restrictive society. In this collection, by turns heartrending and inspiring, Xinran brings us the stories that affected her most, and offers a graphically detailed, altogether unprecedented work of oral history.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Xinran

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Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958. In 1997 she moved to London. This is her first book.
 
Published November 26, 2008 by Anchor. 258 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Good Women of China

Kirkus Reviews

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In 1989, as the Chinese authorities cautiously began opening up to the West, Xinran presented a new radio program in Nanjing called “Words on the Night Breeze.” It provided a forum to discuss various aspects of daily life, using her own experiences “to win the listeners’ trust and suggest ways of...

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Publishers Weekly

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Apparently designed to bring the women's horrific stories to light, the book doesn't do enough to situate them clearly in the context of the show as a state-produced product, or within Xinran's own difficulties in processing and presenting the material on the air (or in this book).

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Deseret News

Xinran leaves us wanting to know more about ordinary Chinese women — women like herself.

Oct 20 2002 | Read Full Review of The Good Women of China: Hidd...

Project MUSE

Setting out with the goal of discovering what a woman's life is worth in China, Xinran recounts stories that help raise the veil that has long cloaked Chinese women in secrecy.

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Reader Rating for The Good Women of China
87%

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