China Books: Grace: An American Woman in China 1934-1974

China Books: Grace: An American Woman in China 1934-1974

I found this book the other day and really look forward to reading it.  The basic story is about an American woman from Chattanooga Tennessee who fell in love and married a Chinese man in the 1930s.

She went to live with him in Tianjin and the book contains her stories and her many long letters home to her family.  One of the letters talks about her travel plans from Vancouver to Shanghai.  While on board the boat she felt sick and decided to change her plans and sent cables to alert her husband.  But by the time they arrived first in Japan she felt fine and then wanted to take a boat from Japan to Tianjin which was her original plan.  There was a huge mix up of cables and waiting times and all those things that we modern people don’t worry about anymore right?  I mean with mobile phones today we never have a problem meeting with friends… right?

This American woman named Grace lived in China during the Japanese occupation, the fall of the Nationalists and up to the Cultural Revolution.

Here’s a quote from a letter she wrote in January of 1950 which explains her process of writing a letter which is fascinating to read nowadays since people don’t write letters anymore!

“I know I’ve been very bad about writing.  I am lazy sill and prefer thinking my letters in my head after I go to bed rather than getting them down on paper and mailing them.  Sometimes one doesn’t write because there not much to write about and sometimes there too much.  Mine is the latter difficulty.  To pick just enough to put into a letter out of all the upheavals and interesting events we have been experiencing is not easy and I can’t sit down and write only ordinary family events.”

This looks to be a great book that I can’t wait to read!  This is also a great gift for that someone who is about to go to China or is thinking about it!


There are so many links out there talking about this book:
Publisher’s Weekly
Blue Rectangle has a book review along with a video!
Over at SPEAKING OF CHINA they have a list of books that are about Chinese men and their Western Wives. This book doesn’t appear on the list but it is included in a comment!

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  1. Six Western Women of the Past who Married Chinese Men | Speaking of China

    […] See also this overview of the book on MandMX. […]