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?