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|The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices||1|
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Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958. She suffered a very difficult childhood during the Cultural Revolution and took the name Xinran later - which means "doing something with pleasure". From 1989 to 1997, she worked as a radio-presenter and journalist, hosting the programme ‘Words on the Night Breeze’, in which she invited women to call in and share their life stories. Not only did Xinran talk to these women on the radio, she went and met them. Xinran accumulated material from the thousands of women she interviewed. In 1997, she travelled to the U.K., where she now lives, in London. It was here, for the first time that Xinran was able to write these stories down. 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 and became an international bestseller.
Sky Burial, her second book, was published in 2004. This is the compelling story of a Chinese woman, 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.
Miss Chopsticks was published in July 2007. It is, she explores the uneasy relationship between these "migrant workers" and the city. China's economic reform is changing the role of its chopstick girls. Once a disposable burden, they can now take city jobs as waitresses, foot masseurs, factory line workers and cleaners, and bring bundles of cash home, earning them unprecedented respect in patriarchal villages, and the respect and hearts of city-dwellers too. Xinran’s fifth book called China Witness: Voices From Last Generations was published in 2008. It is based on Xinran’s twenty years interviewing two generations of people in modern China. In August of 2004 Xinran set up ‘The Mothers’ Bridge of Love’ (MBL), a registered UK charity. 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 the adoptive culture and the birth culture, MBL ultimately wants to help bridge the huge poverty gap, which still exists in many parts of China. MBL's book for adoptive families – Mother Bridge of Love has been selected as the #3 book on TIME magazine’s top ten children’s books of 2007. Xinran often advises western corporations (including the BBC and Sky) about relations with China, commentating on TV and radio. She lives in London where, in 2002, she married Toby Eady.