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Xinran  

Journalist, Author, & Expert on Chinese Women and Daughters.

Xinran was a radio journalist in China before moving to London where she wrote her best-selling book The Good Women of China, a collection of stories drawn from hundreds of interviews conducted during her time as a presenter on her ground breaking program ‘Words on the Night Breeze’ (1989-1997). It has now been translated into over 30 languages.

Her new book, Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother, is a collection of heartbreaking stories from Chinese mothers who have lost or had to abandon children. One of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women, her searing stories of mothers who have been driven to abandon their daughters or give them up for adoption is a masterful and significant work of literary reportage and oral history.

Xinran has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers—students, successful businesswomen, midwives, peasants—who have given up their daughters. Whether as a consequence of the single-child policy, destructive age-old traditions, or hideous economic necessity, these women had to give up their daughters for adoption; others even had to watch as their baby daughters were taken away at birth and drowned. Xinran beautifully portrays the "extra-birth guerrillas" who travel the roads and the railways, evading the system, trying to hold on to more than one baby; naÏve young girl students who have made life-wrecking mistakes; the "pebble mother" on the banks of the Yangzte River still looking into the depths for her stolen daughter; peasant women rejected by their families because they can't produce a male heir; and Little Snow, the orphaned baby fostered by Xinran but confiscated by the state.

For parents of adopted Chinese children and for the children themselves, Message From an Unknown Chinese Mother is an indispensable, powerful, and intensely moving book, evoking sentiment which she richly expresses in her presentations as well.

Xinran is also the author of Sky Burial; What the Chinese Don't Eat; Miss Chopsticks and China Witness: Voices From a Silent Generation, a collection of stories from the grandparents of modern China. She often advises the media (including BBC and Sky) about western relations with China, and makes frequent television and radio appearances. In 2011 she was nominated one of the Guardian’s top 100 most inspirational women.

In 2004 Xinran set up the charity ‘The Mothers’ Bridge of Love’ (MBL) which reaches out to Chinese children in all corners of the world by creating a bridge of understanding between China and the West and between adoptive and birth culture. The MBL book for adoptive families, Mother’s Bridge of Love, came third in Time magazine’s list of the top ten children’s books of 2007.

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