X is for Xinran


20130426-074013.jpg

Appropriate that my X letter is made out of chopsticks. I discovered my X author by looking on the shelves in the book shop. I’d never heard of her before, although I vaguely remember her book when it came out.

Xuē Xīnrán is a British-Chinese journalist who was born in Beijing in 1958 and writes under the pen name of Xinran In the late 1980’s she began her career by working for Chinese Radio and in 1997 moved to London. It was here that she started work on her most well known book, The Good Women of China, which is a memoir, telling stories she heard whilst she was working in radio.

Her radio show in China was aimed at women, and over time she was able to invite her listeners to share their stories. Even though she had to work around tight government censorship, she managed to cover topics that had been banned from public discussion. Women shared their stories about their sexuality, contraception, sexual abuse, homosexuality, arranged marriages, and even whether or not they were happy with their lives.

Since arriving in London she has worked for The Guardian, having a regular column and to date has written 5 books, fiction and non fiction. She often advises the BBC about Western relations with China and has set up her own childrens charity/foundation MothersBridge

Xinran quotes I like:

“The more you read, the more you want to know, and so the more questions you have.”

“Reading, sharing and thinking can help us to find out who we are and what we want from our life time.”

“My writing comes from my deep heart where watered by my tears… again…and again…”

“Today’s comfortable life has made us become too lazy to think and to dig the truth…or, at least to question the truth of our past.”

“I can’t just turn myself off. I can’t walk away. I thought that maybe if I wrote this book and others, I could make a space for some of my memories to keep somewhere else, to put them somewhere outside of me. But the memories keep coming back.”

Xinran talking about her book The Good Women of China

Xinran has become a spokeswoman for the women of China, educating Westerners on the truth that goes on in a country shrouded by political censorship, albeit that she has been forced to do so from a distance. I really admire her 🙂

I’m not sure that I could ever write a memoir, is my life really that interesting enough? Have you ever considered writing a memoir?

Advertisements

36 thoughts on “X is for Xinran

  1. Those are excelent quotes.
    I have lots of interesting tid bits in my life. I was a female bat girl when such things were unheard of, among other things… worth a memoir … probably not. Worth a nod to my parents? Without doubt.

    Like

  2. Okay, Vikki … at least four bloggers I know did the A-Z challenge. I have waited for the letter “X” to see what each of you would do with it. This I love. I must say I have never heard of this woman but this quote speaks to me:

    “I can’t just turn myself off. I can’t walk away. I thought that maybe if I wrote this book and others, I could make a space for some of my memories to keep somewhere else, to put them somewhere outside of me. But the memories keep coming back.”

    Thanks for introducing me to Xinran … pronounced no doubt as Zinran 🙂

    Like

    • Awwwww, thank you so much Florence 🙂

      No, I didn’t know anything about her either, so I’m grateful for this challenge or I never would have discovered her!

      It’s a great quote isn’t it!

      Xx

      Like

  3. Xinran is one of my favourite authors. The Good Women of China is a collection of amazing, and sometimes unbelievably sad, stories of real women struggling in China… another of her books Sky Burial is one of the most beautiful books ever. Thanks for this post, I think I may head off to re-read some Xinran 🙂

    Like

  4. I think that in a way, my stories are a form of memoir–I keep finding parts of my own life buried deep inside them. But I don’t think I’ll ever write about myself directly. That feels too personal to me, and at the same time, somewhat mundane. I don’t think my real life is all that exciting!

    Like

  5. You know Vikki, your A-Z challenge is so fascinating, I’m going to have to set a whole day aside to read from the beginning. You’ve put so much work into this and I applaud you for finding a brilliant writer for each letter of the alphabet. So I wonder who “Z” will be 🙂

    Like

  6. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Enjoyed the X post and will look for Xianran info. You have a ’50’ good bucket list btw. Just read recently just even having such a list predicts that the list-maker will have more success than those who do not. A memoir? Most of my writing is heavily laced with events from my life.

    Like

  7. Hi Vikki,

    What a brilliant X post. I’ve never heard of this lady before but what an inspiring woman! Not sure if my life would ever be worthy of writing my memoirs but who knows in the future. I want my Dad , to write his, he was born and grew up India and his childhood was so different to mine, I want him to write it all down so it is not forgotten.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog The Tales of me http://itswhatigotnotwhoiam.blogspot.co.uk/

    Kate xx

    Like

  8. Thanks for visiting. My blog is the closest I get to a memoir. Your theme is terrific and I enjoyed “X.” “X” is my greatest challenge. P.S. You’re my featured blogger tonight!

    Like

  9. Like many others who’ve commented, I’m not familiar with Xinran’s work, and I appreciate the introduction. I’m going to have to work on making my life a bit more interesting before embarking on a memoir.
    *ponders a life of adventure and derring do*

    Like

  10. “My writing comes from my deep heart where watered by my tears… again…and again…” – What a fantastic quote! Thank you for sharing. I have never read about her before.

    Like

Lets chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s