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The autobiography of Su-ling Wong as told to Dr. Cressy is a gently illumined picture of the transition from the last stages of wealthy Chinese clan life to the modern disintegration of its rigid institutions. Born into a large clan in the South China city of Kan San just six years after the first republican uprising, the author has lived a life of marked change and readjustment. She spent her childhood in the inner court seclusion of the large house ruled by the iron hand of her grandmother. Further nationalist uprisings necessitated different financial and social outlooks. There was the loosening of family bonds, the family's conversion to a lightly taken Christianity, the decision to send Su-ling to school and eventually to college, for an education of which she took full advantage. War with Japan complicated her return to Kan San as principal of a grade school, caused a flight north to Chengtu where she met another Chinese student whom she was finally allowed to marry. From her subsequent vantage point in America, the author has reflected smoothly and accurately on her past, enlightening her statements with colorful descriptions and anecdotes that bring other characters and events into vivid focus and giving some honest opinions on the dilemma of Chinese politics- notably her disillusionment with the Nationalist-Kuomintang tactics. An excellent addition to the growing roster of studies in Oriental character.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1952
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Young