19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!!
I have recently had the joy of reading 'The Good Women of China' and as a Chinese woman myself I feel I have been educated through the eyes of the women who tell their stories. I have found myself to identify with the harsh realities of my culture. This book is not only about Chinese women as some people might consider, since this book may seem to only serve as a shock...
Published on 6 Feb 2004 by simbapride
32 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but not true from a Chinese woman's view.
As a Chinese woman myself, i was very shocked by the stories. these stories seem to be exaggerated to a large extent. No doubt, Xinran is a good writer, however, whether the stories are representative in modern China are quite doubtful. She tried to sell the dark side of China to catch western people’s attention. (good sales lady!)
In my own understanding,...
Published on 4 Mar 2004
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!!,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)I have recently had the joy of reading 'The Good Women of China' and as a Chinese woman myself I feel I have been educated through the eyes of the women who tell their stories. I have found myself to identify with the harsh realities of my culture. This book is not only about Chinese women as some people might consider, since this book may seem to only serve as a shock factor. It only brings to light what happens not only in China but around the world. The fact that the Chinese culture is to simply hide all emotion makes the difference. This book is truly an inspiration and yet the sadness lies in the fact that the people who these stories unfortunately belong to probably no longer know the meaning of that word.
78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)An utterly compelling book, of the experiences of Chinese women, during the cultural revolution of China. No feminist ear bashing, the author communicates with incredible depth and clarity of feeling, the experiences of the women she knew. Not for the feint hearted, this book will stir deep emotion in you. The best book I have read in 20 years.
127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)Absolutely wonderful. Xinrans encounters with these incredible women are etched in my heart forever. The girl who kept a fly for a pet and the mothers who endured an earthquake broke my heart. Xinran has brought to life the experiences of many very different women during the chinese cultural revolution with such vibrancy that I can still hear and see them now, several weeks after reading the book. Unputdownable.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)The premise and the prologue are intriguing, and the rest of the book thoroughly delivers. Xinran Xue tells the stories of several women, as diverse in social and economic backgrounds as the country itself, who all have one thing in common: they have suffered. Whether bereavement, sexual abuse, discrimination or neglect, often more than one, Xinran weaves their experiences into a harrowing narrative with an underlying thread of love and sorrow. This book is an utterly devastating account of women's lives in China and must be read.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take your time reading this... it's worth the pauses,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)Living in modern times, it's hard to imaginie that there are still areas in the world where women suffer so badly... this book covers the stories Xinran has gleaned whilst working on her radio program since the 1970s (if I remember rightly... I've just lent my copy out). Besides the stories she tells of other women, she recounts how hard it was for her to fight for her own program to be aired in China. If nothing else, this slim paperback gives a brief glimpse into another world, and it's easy to think that it's from another time. It isn't. This happened 30 years ago, and that isn't far away.
I said to take your time reading the book, because parts of it will overwhelm you. It overwhelmed me. I'm Chinese by race, but a 2nd generation Malaysian citizen, and although I'm from a modern family and have not had to undergo any of the prejudices doled out to the females of a family, I have learnt through stories and traditions a bit of what the history of Chinese women are like. But that doesn't compare to what this book reveals. I've read many books which covers bad treatment of women in historic times, but this is where this book differs. This deals with now. It's shocking but true. I hope this will broaden your horizons.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There, but for the grace of God, go I.,
This review is from: The Good Women of China (Hardcover)Even allowing for the fact that Xinran has no doubt selected the worst, most harrowing stories, this is still an eye opening account of the suffering of many Chinese women.
I think what struck me most was how others would just stand and stare, feeling that a man beating his wife, for instance, was just 'keeping his house in order'.
Similarly, during the cultural revolution, people humiliated and abused for being intelectuals or owning foreign goods were seen to be getting what they deserved. Worse still, their children were also abused, often sexually, just because of who their parents were.
Women often had no control at all over their own lives; what a frightening thought.
Thank goodness things are changing now and womens lives are gradually improving. The first and largest step is for them to have a voice and I admire Xinran's efforts to help them in their cause.
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opening book,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)I was intrigued by this book as I wanted to learn more about the role of women in chinese society. I was dismayed at how women were kept ignorant of basic facts of life and the emotional aspects of sexual relationships. Chinese woman have been emotionally castrated by decades of subserviance. The chinese characters for woman, girl and especially son give some insight into the value of women in China.
The characters for Female + Housework = Woman
I was reduced to tears by some of the tales told by Xinran. I found the chapter "The women of Shouting Hill" particularly moving. It helped me to better appreciate how much better off I am despite any problems I may be experiencing in my life. It brought back memories, some painful, of my own upbringing. I moved a tiny step closer to understanding how life might have been for my mother as a young woman and has helped me realise the possible reasons why the "bond" between us is strained.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book plays with your emotions,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)This is a fab read, the only book which has brought me to tears. It makes you realise that we brits have such a free life compared to the women of china. Amusing, unbelievable, upsetting and sad.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable and touching,
This review is from: The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices (Paperback)I definitely like this book! I read most stories soaked in tears with a lump in my throat. As a Chinese born in 80s, it's hard for us to understand the older generation and how they suffer and become so numb emotionally. Especially when the truth is blocked by the party which tries to make people "forget" their pain in nowadays' material prosperity and brainwash the newer generation . That's really a shame I have to read stories of my own fellow Chinese women in a foreign language . Though This book is very true. Even though some stories are stunning and extraordinary , it tells the very truth . When I read them I read into those women's heart and I share their suffering and sorrow. Xinran is really a good presenter. Through her Chinese women find a slot to breathe and let their voices heard .
I guess it's a book not for women but also men. The only regret is many Chinese men don't have chance to read it. And I don't know if there are still many of them caring to read .... seeing nowadays Chinese people are almost all after money. Are there still someone who would stop to listen and think in China ? Are there still those good women in China ? Is there still someone like Jingyi who waits 45 years for her love in China ? I don't know the answer because I got this book from my love and he is not Chinese.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen and wake up!,
This review is from: The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (Vintage East) (Paperback)Xinran's written words are like spending time with a precious friend and hearing her confide painful life secrets to you. Xinran's pages are so alive, poignant and she astonished me with many details of situations we just take for granted in a western world. She writes factually with a warm narrative style of Chinese women's struggles with retaining their beliefs, moral values against the subjugation to communism. The length of each story/chapter is as long as you can bear because of the heartbreaking topic, which nonetheless is never a tear-jerker. In spite of the moving accounts of simple, sage, young and old women from all over China, her book is a real page turner - I read it from cover to cover in one day and carry her evocative portrayals in my daily thoughts. I enthusiastically recommend this book to any reader interested in the quality of life, woman's role, strength of survival and accounts of contemporary China.
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The Good Women Of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran (Paperback - 5 Jun 2003)