Author Statement from Moying Li, Author of Snow Falling In Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution
I feel very fortunate that my memoir, Snow Falling In Spring will be published just a few
months before the 2008 Olympic Games, which will be held in the city of my birthBeijing.
As Pierre de Coubertin, the modern father of the Olympic Movement, once said, "The foundation of real human morality lies in mutual respectand to respect one another it is necessary to know one another." The 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the time leading up to it, offers an unprecedented chance for China to interact and communicate with the rest of the world.
Overall, from the increasing media focus to the fast-growing commercial and cultural interactions, it is evident that the world has fixed its eye on China for quite some time. This attention will only intensify with the Summer Olympics. Its estimated that 4.5 million people from around the world will visit Beijing in 2008, in addition to billions of others who will tune in via satellite television.
I believe that, in true Olympic spirit, a better understanding of human commonality and shared vision will emerge from this engagement. And I hope my book, in a small way, will help toward reaching that goal.
China has undergone remarkable transformations since I left it in 1980 to go to college in the United States. Back then, China was rather isolated from the Western worldhaving just emerged from the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Now, in the space of only two decades, China has become the third largest economy in the world, and soon it will surpass those of Europe and North America combined.
With opportunities come new challengesissues many Western countries also encountered during their industrialization process, including: how to preserve the architectural and other cultural heritages in the race for urbanization; how to come to grips with such environmental issues as pollution and traffic congestion; how to handle the social-economic impact of a vast migration of people from the country to the cities.
There is a lot of thinking and work ahead for China, but China will never be alone again. By reflecting upon its own past, and learning from the experience and expertise of other international communities, China stands a much better chance now than ever before. And as someone who has lived in both China and the United States for the same amount of time, I am hoping to offer my experiences and the perspectives generously given to me by both countries through my memoir, Snow Falling In Spring.
Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
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