AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHINESE WOMAN by Yan & Yuenren Chao Duwei

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHINESE WOMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mrs. Chao may term herself a ""typical Chinese woman"" but her story does not support the picture. She tells her story in an unselfconscious and intimate picture, with a remote quality when it touches upon the years of invasion and war, but with an interesting picture of a Chinese girlhood. Her family had prestige and sufficient means, plus liberal viewpoint to permit this headstrong young member of the clan to break a lifelong engagement and go to a foreign country to study medicine. The best part of the book is this section, with its vivid pictures of Chinese weddings and funerals, of the complex family relationship, of ancient customs meeting resistance. Buwei Yang was early a member of the Revolutionary Party; while still a girl she was head of a girls' school ; and for six years she went to Japan to study medicine. Then, with an associate, she opened a small hospital in Poiping, and her adventures as a physician are highlighted by the courtship of the absent-minded Mr. Chao (her translator). Their ""now-style"" marriage made the headlines. Then came America, where she acquired enough American energy to make it hard to realize she is Chinese! The period of return to war-torn China is ineffectual -- there's a remoteness in her touching upon the war that is disappointing after the interesting start. All in all, the book would stand drastic use of the blue pencil, both to tighten it up and to eliminate the ""cutie"" elements. In spite of this, she does contribute to a better rounded picture of the new Chinese.

Publisher: John Day