Xue Xinran (Journalist/Author/Broadcaster)

xue-xinran.jpgXu Xnrán (pen name Xinran) is a British-Chinese journalist and broadcaster, born in Beijing in 1958.

In the late 1980s, she began working for Chinese Radio and went on to become one of China's most successful journalists.

In 1997 she moved to London, where she initially worked as cleaner.

In London, she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women's lives The Good Women of China, a memoir relating many of the stories she heard while hosting her radio show ("Words on the Night Breeze") in China.

The book is a candid revelation of many Chinese women's thoughts and experiences that took place both during and after the Cultural Revolution when Chairman Mao and Communism ruled the land. The book was published in 2002 and has been translated into over thirty languages.

Sky Burial, her second book, was published in 2004. This is the 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 the UK 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’ .

She followed this in February 2010, with the publication of Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, a collection of heartbreaking stories from Chinese mothers who have lost or had to abandon children.

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. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Asia House Festival of Asian Literature.

Related Links:
Xue Xinran on Wikipedia


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