A Village With My Name

A Village With My Name

A Family History of China's Opening to the World

Book - 2017
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In Light of the Sea, acclaimed journalist Scott Tong merges memoir and history, offering an account of regular people living through defining moments in modern China from the start of the 20th century to the present, including the toppling of the monarchy, occupation and war crimes during WWII, mass death, famine, and witch hunts under Communism, the secret expansion of prison labor camps, market reforms, and the dawn of the One Child Policy. In this lively and accessible book, Tong brings the long backstory of China’s quest to go global to an American audience, painting a compelling portrait of the often traumatic ways that world historical events rippled through Chinese society. Each character Scott profiles is a Chinese window to the outside world: a pioneer exchange student, a rare American-educated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, an abandoned toddler from World War II who later rides the wave of China’s global export boom, a young professional climbing the ladder at a multinational company, and an orphan (the author’s daughter) adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money. The style is light and at times irreverent, but Tong explores dramatic moments with the depth and sensitivity of a grandson of China seeking to understand the country and its people before memories of the tumultuous 20th century fade.

When journalist Scott Tong moved to Shanghai, his assignment was to start up the first full-time China bureau for “Marketplace,” the daily business and economics program on public radio stations across the United States. But for Tong the move became much more—it offered the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family who had remained in China after his parents fled the communists six decades prior. By uncovering the stories of his family’s history, Tong discovered a new way to understand the defining moments of modern China and its long, interrupted quest to go global.
 
A Village with My Name offers a unique perspective on the transitions in China through the eyes of regular people who have witnessed such epochal events as the toppling of the Qing monarchy, Japan’s occupation during World War II, exile of political prisoners to forced labor camps, mass death and famine during the Great Leap Forward, market reforms under Deng Xiaoping, and the dawn of the One Child Policy. Tong’s story focuses on five members of his family, who each offer a specific window on a changing country: a rare American-educated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, a pioneer exchange student, an abandoned toddler from World War II who later rides the wave of China’s global export boom, a young professional climbing the ladder at a multinational company, and an orphan (the author’s daughter) adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money. Through their stories, Tong shows us China anew, visiting former prison labor camps on the Tibetan plateau and rural outposts along the Yangtze, exploring the Shanghai of the 1930s, and touring factories across the mainland.
 
With curiosity and sensitivity, Tong explores the moments that have shaped China and its people, offering a compelling and deeply personal take on how China became what it is today.
 


Baker & Taylor
A journalist describes how his assignment as bureau chief for the American Public Media program, “Marketplace,” in Shanghai gave him the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family and understand the country’s modern transitions through the eyes of natives.

Baker
& Taylor

The "Marketplace" journalist describes his experiences moving to Shanghai to start the firm's China bureau, detailing how this provided him the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family and gain a new understanding of modern China.

Publisher: Chicago :, The University of Chicago Press,, 2017
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780226338866
022633886X
Characteristics: xvii, 243 pages ; 24 cm

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