Xinran Blog

Wo Yao Qu ‘Ba Xi’ Le! – I am going to Brazil!

Posted by Xinran on June 26, 2009

Yes, I am going to Brazil for my book tour there from 27th June to 10th July…

I have never been to that part of the world…

I am so so so excited…

I have been heavily editing on my new book since last month. It is about some secret Chinese mothers I met in China from 1989 to 2007, they all lost their baby daughters for different reasons. It will be published Chinese New Year 2010 by  my publisher Random House as planned.

Again and again, my soul has been watered by my tears for those mothers…

I hope all of Chinese adopted daughters could hear their hidden voice from my writing, and help this world to get a better understanding between mothers and children.

Anyhow, as the second part of my questions on China after 14th May 2009 is here…

Chinese Population: 1,306,313,812 (July 2005 est.);

Population growth rate 0.58% (2005 est.);

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

· What’s the challenge to Chinese population?
· Is there an imbalance of sex and education by single child policy?
· How much the percentage of its population has been educated?
· How much between rich and poor? How many are poor as under the life line?

I would like to continue to sharing my thoughts about China with you here…I hope I could learn some answers of these questions from YOU!


Qin-Wen, Nin Jia-Qi Qu-Nar? – Where will you go for your next holiday?

  1. Rebekka Said,

    Dear Mrs Xinran

    I don’t even know what to say. I’ve just read the chapter: ‘the Mothers who endured an earthquake’ in ‘The Good Women of China’. I know I’m terribly behind and that this has been the talk of town for years, and I’m sure that the rest of the book in equally moving, but I have to tell you this now as my heart is overflowin… I was deaply moved, so moved that I was sobbing my way through it. Now I wish to know, if you can tell me, if there’s anything I can do to help these brave women and children?
    Also, are you coming to Denmark on your book tour?

  2. Patrícia Medeiros Said,

    Dear Mrs Xinran,

    I was really touched with the testimonies from your book. Be sure, I heard the hidden voice from Chinese daughters through your writing. It’s impossible to forget each one of them. I have been working at the university in Rio de Janeiro with women and children that suffer sexual abuse and I could see that in every part in the world exist many women and children who need help.
    I didn’t have opportunity to see you when you came in Brazil last month. I hope to have another chance.

    May God bless you a lot Xinran,


  3. jacqui Said,

    Hi xinran, i just wanted to say i have read all your previous books and i am now reading china witness, your books are wonderful as soon as i start to read the first page i cant put it down i feel so connected in so many ways, im sure the world has a better understanding of the womens suffering and endurance after reading your books.
    Sky burial shows endurance patience and an amazing amount of faith, and this is what i love about the chinese way of life we should all embrace a little of it and perhaps the world would be a better place.
    I hope its not too long until you bring out another book as i will be twiddling my fingers till then, if you come to scotland i will certainly take the opportunity to come see you.
    Keep up the excellent work xinran and xie xie

  4. JoAnn Said,

    I am trying to locate a copy of Chinese Witness in written in Cinese. Can anyone help me?

  5. Débora Said,

    I’ve just finished reading your book “The Good Women of China” and I felt like writing a message to you to say ‘obrigada = thank you’.

    Um abraço carinhoso,


  6. xuehui Said,

    Hello Mrs Xinran,
    I have read your book 《Sky Burial》on the begining of July. It was very interesting.
    我是一名在澳洲留学的留学生,10月底要参加高考。在英文考试中,要写一篇关于《Sky Burial》的文章。请问我可以请教你一些问题吗?这本书除了关于爱情、精神性、艰难、宗教和shuwen 学会了接受不同民族之间的爱,还有哪些重要的信息我可以了解到?

  7. marrigje de maar Said,

    Dear mrs. Xinran,
    During my trip to China in 2007 I read your book The good women of China. ater on I gave the book to my guide, a 30 year old girl. Only at the last day of the trip she was willing to comment on the book. “I have never heard these stories”, she said. My parents never told us anything about those years. They had both been teenagers and had been send to the country during the cultural revolution. “I know understand much more of my mother:, More she didnot want to say, but I could see she was very moved.
    I am a female photographer and travel to the far corners of Chinese countryside to make pictures of the interiors of local homes. We just knock on doors and ask for permission. Always a beautifull time with many happy and moving encounters.
    If you have time, could you please have a look at my website and perhaps make some comments. As you wrote yourself:”imagining the lives of the people in the houses. The contrast between imaginary and real world was to become a source of both comfort and sorrow for me.” My pictures show you something about daily life in rural China in 2005-2008.
    With best regards,

  8. marrigje de maar Said,

    Dear mrs. Xinran,
    During my trip to China in 2007 I read your book The Good Women of China. Later on I gave it to my Chinese guide, a 30 year old woman. Only at the last day she was willing to comment on it. “Ihave never heard these stories. My parents never told me anything about those years. I understand my mother mucht better now” More she didnot want to say, but I could see she was very moved.Both her parents were teenagers, who had been send to the countryside during the cultural revolution. .I left the book with here to pass it on to het friends if she wished.
    You wrote in the Good Woman of China:” imagining the lives of the people in the houses. The contrast between imaginary and real world was to become a source of both comfort and sorrow for me”. During my traveling I make pictures inside the houses in far away rural settlements. I would like to come in contact with you.
    Best regards,

  9. Xinran Said,

    Dear Rebekka, Yes, I have been Denmark a few times…I hope I could go back soon 
    Dear Patrícia Medeiros, I think I will go back Brazil to meet you and many other friends!
    Dear Jacqui: After ‘China Witness’, my new book would be published next Feb…the working title called ‘Message from Chinese Unknown Mothers’. It is about 10 Chinese mothers, who were all forced to give up their baby daughters, I interviewed in China.
    Dear JoAnn: ‘China Witness’ in Chinese hasn’t been published even though I wrote in Chinese. Sorry!
    Dear Débora: Xie xie nin!
    Dear Xuehui: Tell you the truth, I am disable about the website even though I had had tried before, until today, just now, I realised I could get all of your emails from my ‘’working page’’…I am so sorry to everyone who has been waiting for my reply… I will try my best from today!
    Dear Marrigje: Please give my regards to your Chinese guide. As a Chinese, I understand how much we have been cut off from our past roots and even our parents generation…this is ‘China Witness’ about. No matter, good or bad in the past, they are all the roots of our today…!

  10. Sarah Said,

    Dear Xinran,
    I have just read The Good Women of China and look forward very much to reading your other books.
    My comment is about the final sentence in your chapter on the Women of Shouting Hill. You say that the women of Shouting Hill were the only ones to tell you they were happy. Why do you think that is?
    I was moved by your description of the eight girls sitting ‘laughing and chatting’ on the kang as they sewed shoes. Why were these little girls happy? Was Shouting Hill a happy place despite its intense poverty and despite the callous and abusive way in which the women were treated? How could that be?
    With sincere respect,

  11. Assunta Ruperto Said,

    我是一个意大利的学生.我在罗马大学学习汉语,我看了您的书,其中我更喜欢!!!关于那个妇女在延安附近生活我想知道更多的信息. 意大利的书里没有地方的名字所以我不能网上找找.

  12. Debbie Said,

    Dear Xinran
    i thank you so much for your courage and bravery and all you have done to tell the world about the lives of ordinary chinese people, esp the women. I read the Good Women of China some years ago and it was staggering to read it. i read it midway thru my decade of living in china.. i have just returned to australia.
    now i am reading China Witness. it is not as harrowing to read as the first book but reading it and seeing the videos on your page here makes me so nostalgic for china.
    at the end of China Witness you talk about May 12 2008. I was there… i cannot describe how incredible it was to be there, as the dragon rose…. and plumeted Wuchang and surrounds…..
    i also lived in Tianjin. Tianjin ren are so honest and helpful, amazing people. the story about the Tangshan earthquake moved me to tears, esp considering that this quake was i n living memory of people i knew there. the tragedy of it not being told about to the country and the world…. how different this time around, how proud i was to see how chinese people ditched in,one nation one family , to help the people of sichuan.

    i married into a chinese family. today i was telling my daughter about how her Si Jiu Nainai had to use the leaves of the trees to make soup to eat. my daughters reply was “at least she had friends and sisters to share the grass soup with. some people had to eat the grass soup and had no friends”. the wisdom of a five year old.

    I believe you are almost singlehandedly keeping the memory of the enormous suffering the chinese people have been thru alive and recorded in history, for that the whole world owes you. i am so grateful to you for your work and tears flood my eyes every time i think about it.

    ganxie ni, xin ran, ganxie ni.


  13. helen ford Said,

    how amazing your writing (the good women of china) is, how it gave me further insights into china. i lived in hang zhou (2004-5), then shanxi, lishi, (2005-7), then beijing and soon after jiangsu, liyang, till last year; and learnt so much about china in that short time (and fell totally in love with china). specially the education system (english). just reading guo xiaolu’s ‘a consise chinese-english dictionary for lovers’ which is so poignant.
    since coming to scotland i have started teaching english to chinese nationals here in edinburgh. they experience, as you and guo xiaolu did, such trials and privations, not to mention the lack of good chinese food. how my heart goes out to the chinese people out of their environment. away from their home language, and away from their customs and way of life. how difficult it is to trans locate.
    i share your writing with my chinese friends both in and out of china.
    strength to your writing arm. continue your great work, xie xie ni, helen

  14. Craig Lewis Said,

    Having always had a hugely strong interest in China since I was very small making paper lanterns for Chinese New year till present day where I’ve recently returned from teaching english in Deyang, Sichuan province for 6 months, “China Witness” was one of the first things I bought upon my return to the UK.

    I just want to say how deeply jealous I am of the lucky individuals who were able to meet these fascinating people with you on your journey and to be able to witness a real part of China that is slowly disappearing. I am only 19 years old, and as a young person I think that it is extremely important to document these peoples stories before it is too late. China feels like a second home to me and my love for her grows deeper each day and it is through books like yours that I really gain an understanding of how China is the way it is today.

    Since reading your book I have been eagerly awaiting any new material you may publish in the future and am also very eagerly awaiting a visit to Wales where I live so that I may one day be able to thank you personally.

    I was lucky enough to travel to many different cities and provinces, as well as small towns and villages during my time in China, but I was never able to get the same experiences that you as a native Chinese would. As a foreigner who speaks very little Chinese, any interest I pay to the old peoples stories is immediately visited with suspicion and caution and I felt great disappointment and frustration that during my time there I was never able to get a better understanding of the people in the country I love. It is because of your book that I was able to revisit some of the places I visisited in my mind and read the stories of the people that I used to meet.

    It is also because of your book, and books by other authors such as Jung Chang and Adeline Yen Mah that I have decided to devote my education towards learning the Chinese language and Preservation of Relics so that one day I will be able to return to China using the language and my skills to help preserve the old for the future generations, both Chinese and Foreign alike.

    Please let me know if you will be visiting Wales for any events anytime in the future, as I would very much like to attend!

    祝你好運 (zhù nǐ háoyùn) Good Luck,

    Craig Lewis, age 19, Wales, UK

  15. Craig Lewis Said,

    I would also like to ask, if there are any video or audio clips of any of the interviews you used to make “China Witness” available online?

  16. Marco Oliveira Said,

    Hi Mrs.Xinran, I watched today, 7/sep/09, your interview at Roda Viva, Brasil. Takes my attention the intellectual honesty as the Chinese are talking about every issue, even the sensitive ones. I always appreciate this in the Anglo-Saxon culture, especially of USA, the best tool to build a society. I don’t know if truth, but seems Chinese are surpassing them. You talk about the complexity of China and human bean, and the way to see them. The marxist axiom says the oppressed workers are the element of change. It’s over, manufacturing is over. Now comes from woman and education.

    Nice interview, pretty woman.


  17. Marco Oliveira Said,

    Human bean will be a good plant. Will reach the sky. Sorry.

  18. Gabriel Said,

    Dear Xinran, sorry for my english… I am brazilian, and yesterday (07/09/09) i watched an interview of yours in a brazilian show (of course it wasnt live) and i just falled in love for your stories… I didnt know you but you touch me deep inside my heart and i m looking foward to read your books. I was searchin news about you on the net and I felt so happy when I saw your blog because happily i could send you a message…I hope that you could give me an answear… You don’t know but i want to say thank u very much…your words meant a lot to me. God bless you a lot and all your fellow countryman!

  19. Paola Said,

    Dear Xinran,
    I first saw you at the TV Program “Roda Viva” when you were in Brazil and got very curious about your work. By the way, the interview was veryyy good. I always had a very blured image of China so, after the interview, I decided to buy your books. I had just finished reading “The Good Woman of China” and I have to say that it is wonderful! It really made me see a real China, full of emotions that are always very far from the image that we see everyday on the newspapers. Thank you very much for these opportunity. I’m now a big fan of your work.

  20. Denis Hodgson Said,

    Hello Xinran,
    I am an English pensioner and I have recently acquired an interest in China and it’s history, especially over the last 100 years.
    My interest started last year when I obtained a copy of ‘Mao - The Unknown Story’ written by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.
    I have read all of your books except ‘Miss Chopsticks’ and I wonder if you have read ‘Mao - The Unknown Story’ and if so, what are your opinions?.
    I get the feeling from reading your books, that you do not hold the view that Mao Zedong was the ‘god’ that millions of Chinese people, even to this day, look upon him as being.
    This book shows his cruel, vindictive side and is well worth reading, if you haven’t done so.
    I have really enjoyed reading your books and I look forward to the next one you write.
    Love and Best Wishes
    Denis Hodgson

  21. Patricia Said,

    Nin hao, dear Xinran
    I’am just reading your book “The Good Women of China”. I am still not through it, because I have to read and read again almost every single sentence, because it contains so many interesting, moving and important informations, that I don’t want to forget any of them. I have been living for approx. 7 months in Xiamen. And we (my husband and me) are going to stay another 2,5 years. I have to tell you: I love to stay here. I love the people here in Xiamen. Especially the people I meet on the road, when I go shopping or I’m reading a book in a park etc. I am so happy for the women, then I think I can see here, that a lot has changed. Of course, Xiamen is a modern city and I still don’t know anything about China, but I’m very much looking forward to my future life here in Xiamen. What books do you suggest me to read about China? And will you come to Xiamen in 2010? Please excuse my poor English. But my Chinese is even worse. I’m trying very hard, but it’s very difficult. Why is your last blog from last September? Gong xi fa cai, dear Xinran.

  22. Juliana Said,

    Dear Xinran,

    I am reading “The good women of China” for the second time. I usually read it on my way to work, in the subway (here in São Paulo). Sometimes I feel so deeply disturbed that my eyes can´t stop watering, and I look at those dozens of women around me, and I wonder how many of them have a hard story to tell. Our “plumb years” are not easy to swallow, but the red revolution in China seems to have been much heavier for the Chinese women to bear.
    Forgive me for my bad English, I just wanted to register that I really like your book, that I want to read the others and, at last, that I hope to attend a lecture os interview the next time you come for a visit.
    Thank you so much for shining a light over those stories.

  23. Samantha Said,

    Dear Xinran,

    I am not able to comment on any more recent blog posts of yours, so forgive me for commenting here. I am really unsure as to whether you’ll even actually see this, but here it goes anyway. I am an ABC (Australian born Chinese) studying Communications and one of my assessments is to interview someone with a public profile and use the interview to create a creative non-fiction piece. The first thought that came into my mind was you. I do not know how else to contact you or if you’ll even see this, but I had to try. If by chance you do see this and have time to spare to exchange a few words via email interview, then please contact me.

    Regardless, you are such a great inspiration to me. Thank you for letting me discover so much about my Chinese self by telling the stories of others.

  24. IM Chuckie Said,

    Hi, I am wondering when “Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love” is being published in the US. I do not see it on the Random House site, and only from U.K.

  25. Marie Said,

    Ni hao Xinran,
    I’m so glad to discover your blog!

    I want to thank you a hundred times for your wonderful books… I’ve read them all and need to tell you that you have helped me understand so much about Chinese culture, and especially Chinese women. I love how genuine and welcoming your books are.

    My best friend is Chinese and like you her family is from Beijing. I recently found ‘Miss Chopsticks’ and it was a pleasure to be able to share it with her. Thank you for helping me to appreciate her even more.

    Your friend from England!

  26. Denise Said,

    Mrs Xinran,

    I`ve just read your book “Miss Chopsticks” and I felt so impressed and admired the sensitive way you told those stories that I put my fingers to work to find something else about you and your previous books.

    I`m from Brazil and I believe that we have lots of girls like the 3 sisters in your book. Here, we find lots of chopsticks girls, working hard, dreaming and trying to be recognized.

    Hope you really enjoy my country (Brazil) and thank you for your really beautiful book.


  27. Carla Said,

    Dear Xinran,

    I always been in love for your amazing country, but after to know your books and all people stories this love grow up in an amazing way. I am a huge fan from you and I admire your work and I do my best all the time to follow and buy your new books. I wish to know when you will visit my country again, my wonderfull ‘Ba Xi’….
    I know that you have busy agenda and not a lot free time but to me it should to be a great pleasuare to have you here, in my country, again.
    I admire how you can get people soul and express it in words… I am even studing chines, I wish to read your book in original some day.
    I feel me so close and with conection with you, even had never meet you in person, I can feel your great soul and kind heart when I read your words.

    I dream to talk with you in person some day, I am sure that I can learn a lot with a single talk with you.
    Hugs and my best wishs!!

    Carla Denise

  28. Lise Simskar Said,

    Hi, I’m a girl adopted from China 17years ago, I live in Norway. Tonight I found a article about you om the internet and I’d really want to read your book about those mothers. Is the book translated in to Norweigan?
    The whole thing is really weird to think about, about all that you hear about China. And that I may be one of those daughters.
    Hope I find it in the bookshop!


  29. barrie Said,

    i am - wait for it - a 73 year old Australian university student majoring in Mandarin though only in my first year at university. I am married to a Chinese lady and love her and her daughter very much. We all live in Australia. I have been to China three times but would like to return to teach English for 6 months to learn Mandarin. My only needs are that I receive accommodation and food and the opportunity to learn Mandarin; in exchange I offer 6 months of teaching English to the children and/or adults. What do you think?

  30. Donna Carrick Said,

    Dear Xinran,

    I read your beautiful book The Good Women Of China as part of my research when writing The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map. I could not put it down, and I still see in my mind’s eye the vivid pictures of the brave mothers and daughters and all they endured. I cannot recall a single chapter without feeling chills…. excuse me for this.

    Our daughter Tammy-Li Ming Hui was adopted from WuZhou. I choose to believe she was left by a loving birth mother who hoped she would be loved. I wish I could tell her our daughter is loved beyond her hopes and expectations. She is the light of our lives.

    The plight of women and girls all over the world remains appalling to this day. I know this from personal experience. But at least we strive to shed a light on these situations, and as writers we resolve nevermore to bury the truth, nor let our sisters suffer in silence.

    Very best to you. Thank you for your works of love.
    Donna Carrick
    author of The First Excellence ~ Fa-ling’s Map

  31. Sandra Greenheck Said,

    Dear Xinran,

    I read The Good Women of China and Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, both touching and moving books. This later book will be invaluable to my adopted Chinese daughters. We adopted our first daughter in 1997, she has many unanswered questions and curiosities about her biological parents. We have told our five adopted Chinese daughters many times that their mother’s loved them very much but had extenuating circumstances that lead to them being abandoned. They were lucky that their parents chose life for them by abandoning them where they would be found immediately. Three of our adopted children also have special needs and we realize that perhaps their parents would have kept them had they not had these issues. These daughters bring so much joy and happiness to our family that I can not come close to describing. Their playfulness and laughter is music to our ears.
    Thank you for you books for me and the sake of my children.
    Sandra Greenheck

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