Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong

Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong

Susan Blumberg-Kason

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 1402293348

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A stunning memoir of an intercultural marriage gone wrong

When Susan, a shy Midwesterner in love with Chinese culture, started graduate school in Hong Kong, she quickly fell for Cai, the Chinese man of her dreams. As they exchanged vows, Susan thought she'd stumbled into an exotic fairy tale, until she realized Cai―and his culture―where not what she thought.

In her riveting memoir, Susan recounts her struggle to be the perfect traditional "Chinese" wife to her increasingly controlling and abusive husband. With keen insight and heart-wrenching candor, she confronts the hopes and hazards of intercultural marriage, including dismissing her own values and needs to save her relationship and protect her newborn son, Jake. But when Cai threatens to take Jake back to China for good, Susan must find the courage to stand up for herself, her son, and her future.

Moving between rural China and the bustling cities of Hong Kong and San Francisco, Good Chinese Wife is an eye-opening look at marriage and family in contemporary China and America and an inspiring testament to the resilience of a mother's love―across any border.

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woman. I saw it as the utmost compliment. When walking, look straight, turn not your head; Talking, restrain your voice within your teeth; When pleased, laugh not aloud; If angry, still make no noise. —Ban Zhao, the first known female Chinese historian (45–116 AD) Instruction for Chinese Women and Girls Chapter 1 A Chance Meeting in Hong Kong The Chinese University of Hong Kong sits atop a mountain, north of Hong Kong Island and twenty minutes south of the mainland China border. When I

like a baby bird to its mother. As I stabbed a shrimp dumpling in a bamboo steamer and the insides plopped out of the doughy translucent wrapper, I tried to summon mental images of them composing chapters late at night in the bare-boned guesthouse room. I managed to pick up the ball of shrimp filling with my chopsticks and shove it into my mouth. Next I maneuvered the dumpling wrapper to the safety of my small rice bowl. Although I felt embarrassed for dropping the dumpling, probably offending

felt relieved when she answered on the second ring. It didn’t take long for me to explain in Mandarin that I was looking for Cai Jun. She asked if I was his foreign wife. “Can you please give him a message to call me at home tonight after eight?” Tears pooled in my eyes just thinking about what I’d have to ask Cai that evening. Later that morning, I tried to concentrate on a manuscript I was editing about new Hong Kong tax laws, but found myself turning the pages without remembering what I had

cider, not white. Don’t worry, Susan. You’re too young to worry.” I returned home to find Cai reading another Hong Kong newspaper on the couch. He didn’t look up. “Did you get the medicine?” “No. She said we should try for a year. I have a special thermometer to find out when it’s a good time. She also suggested drinking apple cider vinegar.” Cai just nodded and continued reading the paper. Since I felt like it would be rash to talk with friends and coworkers about trying to get pregnant, I

birthday party for her the week after she was supposed to return. I’d already bought her a new dress and doll.” Sobbing, she couldn’t continue. I reached for more tissues, this time for both of us. Katherine had been in China for a year now and Tim had only seen her once, during his annual two-week vacation. “Why couldn’t he just take Katherine back with him?” It seemed like that two-week vacation would have been a perfect time to bring Katherine home. “Who in Mei’s town would side with Tim?

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