Essay

Say Something in Chinese

Jennifer Duann Fultz reconnects with her cradle language

When I was very young, I would oblige by commenting on the weather or their outfit, but I eventually got tired of feeling like a zoo animal and learned to respond with, "Something in Chinese," which usually made it clear that I was not interested in continuing the conversation. I have only recently begun unpacking some of the resentment and confusion I felt toward my cradle language.

My parents settled in the Midwest among a community of highly educated immigrant Chinese professionals. We attended a Chinese church and most of the kids I grew up with could speak a smattering of Mandarin, Cantonese or Taiwanese. But in those days there were no trendy Mandarin immersion schools or Mandarin-speaking kids shows, so our cradle language was quickly subsumed by English. I dutifully went to Chinese school two hours a week from first grade through middle school, but I resented the extra class time and homework. Despite my  attitude, I clinched the speech competition year after year, which I sometimes suspect was due to my deeply entrenched study habits rather than any latent gift for gab. I outperformed my peers linguistically overall, to the delight of my parents and their Chinese friends. "Wah, hao bang, ah! Your Mandarin is so good!" they cooed, and I would do a few more verbal backflips in response to their applause.

Review

A Chinese Patriot in America

Suzanne Sataline reviews Patriot Number One by Lauren Hilgers

 

For weeks after reading Lauren Hilger’s debut book, Patriot Number One, I tried to embrace the concept of yin and yang. The collegial writer in me would like to say that the book is a first author’s loving tribute to an immigrant family’s struggle with identity and rebirth. The twisted journalist in my soul would counter that this is a young writer’s valiant attempt to stitch together two magazine stories into one topical, yet slender book.

Alas, I am no Taoist.

Hidden History

Lady Chatterley Must Go!

The censorship of a classic in 1940s Shanghai – Paul French

In September 1940, the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP) launched a concerted campaign to ensure that no English-language books deemed “salacious” or “unfit for public sale” should be available in the territory of the International Settlement. The campaign began by seizing several copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover available in foreign and locally operated bookstores. With the Japanese encirclement of the foreign concessions of Shanghai complete, relations between the International Settlement – often termed the “solitary island” (gudao) – and the Japanese military were at an all-time low. It was the brink of all-out, total war.

Little Red Podcast

China’s Debt Bubble

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme The World Has Ever Seen?

 

China's recent impressive economic growth has been built largely on massive debt. According to some estimates, in just over a decade China has managed to rack up debt in excess of 300% of its GDP, effectively placing a ticking time-bomb under the world economy. Is China heading for a financial crisis, and if so when? In this episode, Graeme and Louisa are joined by Dinny MacMahon, the author of China’s Great Wall of Debt, and Tim Murray, co-founder of J Capital Research, who make predictions about China's financial future and explain how Beijing's strategy may be driving a stealthy renationalization of the Chinese economy.