For eight groundbreaking
years, Xinran presented a nightly radio
programme in China called Words on the
Night Breeze, during which she invited
women to call in and talk about themselves.
Her first book, The Good Women of China,
is the story of how she reached out to women
across the country, despite the restrictions
imposed on Chinese journalists. She reveals
stories of inconceivable suffering; forced
marriages, sexual abuse, repression...Yet
above all her stories reveal how love
survives; that despite cruelty, despite
politics, the female urge to nurture and
cherish remains - Sky Burial is a
novelization of one of the stories she was
Xinran says "Chinese women had always thought their lives should be full of misery. Many had no idea what happiness was, other than having a son for the family You have to understand that emotions and ideals such as happiness or equality are luxuries for the poor. First they want clean water and electricity; then washing machines and fridges; after that it's time for happiness. Listening to me, they discovered the possibility of another kind of life and began to question themselves, 'Why don't I have that?'"
This review was originally published in August 2005, and has been updated for the July 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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