Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother Stories of the lost

Following her internationally bestselling book The Good Women of China Xinran has written 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 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 this is an indispensable powerful and intensely moving book Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother is powered by love and by heartbreak and will stay with readers long after they have turned the final page


10 thoughts on “Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother Stories of the lost daughters of China

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    This book is the back story to all those little Chinese girls people from the West adopt It's heartbreaking to see that the Chinese government with its policies on land grants and extra food distribution on the birth of a boy child only together with the one child policy have set the scene for the murder of new born baby girls which is expected and never prosecuted Those who can't bear to 'do' as the euphemism goes their daughters or pay the midwife to 'do' them abandon them As the orphanages have become an important business resource for the Chinese selling the little girls to Westerners there is less need to murder them and that in a very small way is a good but unbelievably sad thing China has to be the most corrupt government in the entire world to sanction the murder of babies Beats even Yemen where they repealed the relatively new law not allowing 9 year girls to be sold married off after I Am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced came out in favour of a minimum age of 17 The law was repealed because there were big protests saying the law was unIslamic Mohammed married a 9 year old girl and the law now is that it is for the parents father to decide when his daughter should be married Here are some pretty pics of little girls who should be in primary school married to men their father's or grandfather's age last story in the book is a very sad one but gives no hope for the future at all The author makes the aquaintance of an internationally travelling executive high up in the Chinese Adoption Services She and her husband gave up their baby girl because she didn't have time to look after it and keep her executive job and they didn't for some reason want a nanny She was wracked with guilt as she should be giving excuses of a better life for the child being adopted abroad but it was hard to feel any sympathy for her It just seems that girls aren't worth making sacrifices forThe book ends on a very sad and cynical note It is with a document the law and all its clauses pertaining to adoption in China The lip service given to the protection of girl babies is somehow even worse than acknowledging that it's perfectly fine to murder or abandon these infants If a problem isn't acknowledged then no solution is possible because one just isn't seen as needed or worse any suggestions might be punished as they suggest that the law the State is imperfectThe single baby system is officially at an end Not because the world is looking aghast at all this state sponsored murder but because there are too many males without women roaming in marauding posses in some areas kidnapping girls wives even in others and in general bringing the kind of social difficulties that young lads often do but made worse without even the possibility of sex young love and marriage for many of them The other factor is that China is an ageing population as technology keeps alive for longer someone has to work to pay for the care of old people not just the pensions but the housing and the medical care Hence young people to pay taxes are necessary But still so many thousands of years of desiring boys and of girls being the booby prize that isn't likely to go any time soonI read the book in sadness and in anger The war isn't between the races political systems the various military battles over land it is between men and women As long as men make laws that control how women should live their lives and their bodies and where there is an obvious devaluation of women compared to men then that is the war all good people men and women should be standing up to fight We are different from each other but each life is equal and that should be enshrined in every law rule and religious precept in the entire world otherwise it is just domination by the strong on those who have been kept weakThis review is all over the place because it wasn't written in any order and the paragraphs were just ported around a bit willy nilly which is how I feel about the book along with my confusion sadness anger and sympathy for the mothers the babies and the poor fathers who never even considered the special love an adoring daughter has for her Daddy