An Amulet of Greek Earth: Generations of Immigrant Folk Culture
Non-fiction and slightly anthropological, it has great stories of Greek-Americans and American-Greeks. Life and Death in Shanghai
|This gripping account of a woman caught up in the maelstrom of China's Cultural Revolution begins quietly. In 1966, only the merest rumblings of political upheaval disturbed the gracious life of the author, widow of the manager of Shell Petroleum in China. As the rumblings fast became a cataclysm, Cheng found herself a target of the revolution: Red Guards looted her home, literally grinding underfoot her antique porcelain and jade treasures; and she was summarily imprisoned, falsely accused of espionage. Despite harsh privationeven tortureshe refused to confess and was kept in solitary confinement for over six years, suffering deteriorating health and mounting anxiety about the fate of her only child, Meiping. When the political climate softened, and she was released, Cheng learned that her fears were justified: Meiping had been beaten to death when she refused to denounce her mother. The candor and intimacy of this affecting memoir make it addictive reading. Its intelligence, passion and insight assure its place among the distinguished voices of our age proclaiming the ascendancy of the human spirit over tyranny. Cheng is now a U.S. resident.
Very painful story, not for the faint of heart.Warrior Lessons: An Asian American Woman's Journey into Power
From Kirkus Reviews:
|In this hybrid of inspirational creed, personal memoir, anecdotal reportage, and political pamphlet, Eng exhorts Asian-American women to face their issuesand conquer them. The author, one of the founders of A. Magazine, published for and about Asian-Americans, draws part of her inspiration here from Maxine Hong Kingstons modern classic, The Woman Warrior. While Kingston serves as the starting point for Eng in her exploration of what it means to be an Asian-American woman, she also acknowledges the influence of other prominent feminist thinkers of the late 20th century and sprinkles her book liberally with remarks from those women, as well as with others from a disparate band of philosophers, psychologists, and self-help gurus. Early on, Eng quotes from Gloria Steinem's Revolution From Within: ``Most writers write to say something about other people and it never lasts. Good writers write to find out about themselvesand it lasts forever.'' Eng interprets this statement as a license to bring her own experiences into a book that is essentially about other people. But regardless, Steinem's quote seems a grievous one to guide any writer. Eng, while divulging the details of her personal life, is very fond of reminding us that she threw off the shackles of corporate lawyerdom to become a publisher of an idealistic magazine. Yet, when stripped of its pretensions, hers is essentially a self-help titleher reportage is unsystematic, her evidence sketchy, as she advises Asian women on how to deal with issues such as physical self-image (she notes a growing trend toward plastic surgery among Asian women) to her debunking of what she calls power myths, such as the belief that power can come from pretending to be like everyone else. Asian women who want to understand themselves in relation to language, history, and the rest of humanity would do better to reread The Woman Warrior.