How to pronounce Xue Xinran: Shu-ay Shin-Ran
Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958. From 1989 to 1997, she worked as a
radio-presenter and journalist, hosting the program 'Words on the Night Breeze',
in which she invited women to call in and share their life stories. Xinran not
only talked to these women on the radio, she went and met them, accumulating
material from the thousands of women she interviewed. In 1997, she travelled to
London, where she now lives. It was here that Xinran was able to write these
stories down for the first time. In July 2002, they appeared in Britain in the
form of a book, The Good Women of China, which has now been published all
over the world in more than 30 languages, becoming an international bestseller.
Sky Burial, her second book, was published in 2004. This is the compelling story of Shu Wen, whose husband, only a few months after their marriage in the 1950s, joined the Chinese army and was sent to Tibet for the purpose of unification of the two cultures.
A collection of Xinran's Guardian columns from 2003 to 2005, What the Chinese Don't Eat, was published in 2006. It covers a vast range of topics from food to sex education, and from the experiences of British mothers who have adopted Chinese daughters, to whether Chinese people do Christmas shopping or have swimming pools.
Xinran's first novel Miss Chopsticks was published in July 2007. It explores the uneasy relationship between Chinese "migrant workers" and the cities they flock to. China's economic reform is changing the role of its chopstick girls. Once a disposable burden, they can now take city jobs as waitresses, masseuses, factory line workers and cleaners, They bring bundles of cash home, earning them unprecedented respect in patriarchal villages, as well as winning the respect and hearts of city dwellers.
Xinran's fifth book, China Witness: Voices From a Silent Generation was published in October 2008. It is based on twenty years worth of interviews conducted by Xinran with the last two generations in China. She hopes it will, 'restore a real modern history of China, from real people after most historical evidence was destroyed in the Culture Revolution'
In August 2004 Xinran set up 'The Mothers' Bridge of Love' (MBL). MBL reaches
out to Chinese children in all corners of the world; by creating a bridge of
understanding between China and the West and between adoptive culture and birth
culture, MBL ultimately wants to help bridge the huge poverty gap which still
exists in many parts of China.
The MBL book for adoptive families, Mother's Bridge of Love, came third in TIME magazine's list of the top ten children's books of 2007.
Xinran often advises western media (including BBC and Sky) about western relations with China, and makes frequent television and radio appearances.
Xue Xinran's website
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