Inconvenient Memories: A Personal Account of the Tiananmen Square Incident and the China Before and After by Anna Wang

 

 

In writing this fascinatingly informative book, the author Anna Wang has fulfilled a promise she made to herself long after the terrible massacre at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, a promise to tell her story about the events at that time.

Born in China in 1966, a few years later than myself in England, Anna has really opened my eyes through her memoir to how different life is in East Asia.

The author was abandoned by her mother into the care of her grandmother who lived in Beijing. It is through Anna’s recollections of her childhood and youth, that we discover how strict the upbringing of Chinese children is, and also what living conditions were like in the capital city during her youth. Perhaps the most eye-opening part of this whole book for me was to discover the different ‘regimes’ which Chinese people have to, and still do adhere to, and the class distinctions and restrictions imposed on its people by the government, and their policies.

It wasn’t until she was accepted into Peking University in Beijing as a microelectronics major that Anna experienced protests for the first time. The death on the 15th April 1989 of a former Communist Leader Hu Yaobang, who had worked hard to move China toward a more open political system, and had become a symbol of democratic reform caused the initial uprising in Tiananmen Square. This commenced with the students marching through the capital to Tiananmen Square. From that beginning the uprising grew, hunger strikes, and rally’s caused Premier Li Peng to impose martial law on 19th May.

Anna’s memories of these times are full of fear, with troupes roaming the street, innocent citizens shot, families decimated, and a city in lockdown. On the 4th June, 1989 the demonstration ended when Chinese troops fired on civilians and students. The true death toll has never been released…

At the time of the incident, and after, she worked as a secretary at Canon Beijing, and then went on to have a successful writing career. She has had published other books about her life and experiences, and is married to Lao Xin who she met when he was a student of literature in college. The couple have two children, and with her own vivid childhood memories, their future is paramount to her.

Throughout her extremely interesting life this determined woman, with strength and fortitude, has intermittently lived in Beijing, and also in America, New Zealand and Canada. Through her vividly detailed accounts the author gives her reader a real insight into life in China, and being Chinese. For me, an added bonus was that her recollections of her grandmother’s stories to her during childhood, gives a fascinating glimpse into early 20th century life, including the custom of foot binding.

I would highly recommend this fascinating book to anyone interested in history, memoirs, and life in China through the 20th, and into the 21st century.


About the Author:

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Anna Wang received her BA from Peking University and is a full-time writer. She has published nine books in Chinese. These include two short story collections, one essay collection, four novels, and two translations. An English translation of her short stories, Beijing Women: Stories, was published in 2014. Inconvenient Memories is her debut book written in English.

About the Book:

Inconvenient Memories is a rare and truthful memoir of a young woman’s coming of age amid the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989. In 1989, Anna Wang was one of a lucky few who worked for a Japanese company, Canon. She traveled each day between her grandmother’s dilapidated commune-style apartment and an extravagant office just steps from Tiananmen Square. Her daily commute on Beijing’s impossibly crowded buses brought into view the full spectrum of China’s economic and social inequalities during the economic transition. When Tiananmen Protests broke out, her Japanese boss was concerned whether the protests would obstruct Canon’s assembly plant in China, and she was sent to Tiananmen Square on a daily basis to take photos for her boss to analyze for evidence of turning tides. From the perspective as a member of the emerging middle class, she observed firsthand that Tiananmen Protests stemmed from Chinese people’s longing for political freedom and their fear for the nascent market economy, an observation that readers have never come across from the various accounts of the historical events so far.

Available from Amazon in Hardcover, Kindle and Audiobook formats https://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Memories-Personal-Tiananmen-Incident/dp/0996640576/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1559118435&refinements=p_27%3AAnna+Wang&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Anna+Wang 

The China-America Alliance: East Asian and American Cultural Values Promote Global Harmony by Jack C. Westman

 

 

A strategy for China and America to work together for the future of mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The China-America Alliance makes a compelling case that the USA and China hold the keys to the future of the condition of man and the health of the planet.

However, the question is… Does mankind have the strength to stand united, and fight as one for humanity, and the future of our wonderful world?

In this fascinating book Jack C Westman examines in-depth, the similarities and differences which makes an alliance between China and America the way forward, not only for global peace, but also enabling them to turning about the destructive influences which are sweeping our world, and threatening its future for our decedents.

Thoroughly researched, this book is overflowing with theories, examples and quotes from great people throughout the history of the world, who each have been passionate about their work or beliefs, humanitarians, scientists, leaders, politicians, psychiatrists, cosmologists, the list goes on.
Asia and America both share remarkably similar cultural values. Deep down they both believe in old fashioned family values, the importance of stability for children, good neighbourliness, and supporting local organisations and businesses. However, somewhere, each has lost its way in this modern world of instant gratification and materialism, which has become a throwaway society, where all around are examples of lack of accountability, chaos and violence. It is this that has set mankind on a downward spiral which could potentially be fatal for the future of the human race.

It is time to open our eyes to the truth, which is that human beings cannot be separated from our environment, for us to survive we must do something to help our environment now. The author explores how we can proceed by looking at realistic and unrealistic thinking, and examining how Asia and America can achieve this, by working together for global peace.

However, to go forward we must be able to examine ourselves objectively, and the roles we play, discovering who we are and what impact we have on the environment. Global unsustainability is rising alarmingly, with air and water pollution, global warming, the destruction of our seas by disposing of our rubbish in them. Then there is the ever present threat of nuclear weapons…

I found this book absolutely fascinating and compelling reading. It has laid out a firm strategy for China and America to independently rekindle their cultural values, then work together to control hostile and corruption in both societies, and achieve mutual economic dependence.

 

About the Author: Dr. Jack Westman is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is president of Wisconsin Cares, Inc., an organization devoted to public policy formation and has been president of three professional organizations. He has written over 150 professional publications and thirteen books.

 

About the Book: The following persons have commented on this book: 1) Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientist, “Dr. Westman makes a compelling case for the need for collaborative international leadership by the U.S. and China. He reminds us that the common interests of the U.S. and China far outweigh the differences.” 2) Ross Rojek, San Francisco Book Review, “Our civilization’s future depends on finding shared common values between the great nations, especially China and the U.S. This book provides a framework for how that can be achieved.”. 3) Susan Keefe, Midwest Book Review, “Dr. Westman shows how the U.S. and China hold the keys to the future of the condition of mankind and the health of the planet. However, the question is: does mankind have the strength to stand united as one for humanity and the future of our world?” and 4) Jess Todtfeld, former producer ABC-TV, NBC-TV and FOX News, “This book promotes collaboration between America and China in ways that most people are not contemplating. Dr. Westman shows how these two economic powers can positively influence the world.”

 

Available from Amazon in Paperback https://www.amazon.com/China-America-Alliance-American-Cultural-Promote/dp/3330650885/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497882334&sr=8-1&keywords=the+china+american+alliance

Ghost of the Forbidden City by Sumita Mukherjee

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This is a wonderful children’s adventure story set in Beijing the capital of China.

The stars are Keiko, her brother Kenzo and their pet squirrel Eji. The brother and sister are very lucky because their father Mr Kimura is a brilliant scientist and his genius has rubbed off on Kenzo.

Kenzo is naughty, and always up to mischief, however he is also very clever, and his inventions help to solve mysteries, like the one in this book.

In this adventure Miss Tyra, the history teacher has arranged to take a small group of children on an outing to Beijing. Kenzo and his Sister Keiko, their squirrel Eji, Aki (Kenzo’s best friend), and Keiko’s friends Midori and Sakura are chosen and are very excited.

They travelling around by bus, and their guide is called by Xiao. First, they visit the Forbidden City, where they have a lovely time discovering many interesting facts about the largest ancient palace in the world. Then, whilst they are in one of the Emperors chambers a scary thing happens, Miss Tyra sees a ghost!

That night Keiko starts to hear voices in the kitchen of their guest house, so she, Kenzo and Eji go to explore, but no one is there…

The next day they visit the Great Wall of China, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and they have to get on it by taking a cable car ride. However, sinister things are at foot, and Midori nearly has an accident, but she is saved by one of Kenzo’s inventions, a very handy glue gun.

The city is amazing, and the decorations and celebrations at Gong Xi Fa Cai, (Chinese New Year), are very exciting. The children even see a traditional lion dance, and the Beijing National Stadium, however the ghostly presence is still around.

Back at the guest house, the children are determined to discover where the voices are coming from, and so they wait in the dark… and then they make a discovery.

So, what do they find?

Do ghosts really exists?

Who can they hear talking, what are they saying, and what are they trying to do?

Well, all I can say is that in the end all the questions are answered, more than once Kenzo’s glue gun saves the day, and they all agree Miss Tyra is the best teacher in the world.

A wonderfully informative children’s mystery adventure, with lots of surprises and a happy ending. It is beautifully illustrated by Subhajit Das and has amazing graphics by Loo Ng Pek Mun. For more interesting stories like this one visit http://www.keikokenzo.com/book

I downloaded this book using my Kindle Unlimited membership and really enjoyed reading it with my grandsons.

 

About the Author: Sumita Mukherjee is an historian of South Asia and the British Empire.

About the Book: Keiko, Kenzo and Eji are on an outbound trip to China with their school friends and a strict teacher. They visit the Forbidden Place and discover that it is haunted. Strange things happen in the guest house and they set out to investigate. They are shocked to see an unearthly hollow face. Kenzo, being a brave heart finds a clue and decides to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Ghost of the Forbidden City is available from Amazon in Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Forbidden-City-Keiko-Kenzo/dp/1523215852/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1457260451&sr=8-1&keywords=Ghosts+of+the+Forbidden+City+by+Sumita+Mukherjee

 

Ming Tombs near Beijing by Wander Stories

Loving history and wanting to travel all over the world exploring even if it’s just from my Kindle, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ming-Tombs-near-Beijing-ebook/dp/B0083FBL8O/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353416759&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=ming+tombes+near+beijing

 

With only basic previous knowledge of China’s history I found the virtual tour given in this book very interesting and indepth.

The thorough knowledge of the writer and their ability to bring these tombs and their contents to life had me thoroughly absorbed. It was lovely as well, whilst travelling through time to learn about the different dynasties and their reigns.  I only have the basic Kindle, however, I found the pictures which accompanied the text were clear and definitely added to the feeling of being there.

I understand that the publishers produce these books only for the e-market, however, I did feel sad that, having finished it, I couldn’t place it on my book shelves, and yes I know you can put it up on the Kindle any time, but I just felt I would have loved it as a real book and better still with tattered pages where I had actually walked round the tombs myself, with my guide.

Whether you are going to China or are just interested in tombs or China’s history I can thoroughly recommend this book.