CRF Blog

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother

by Bill Hayes

In Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Love and Loss, Xinran, a Chinese journalist who lives in the West, tells the harrowing experiences of women living under China’s one-child policy and what happens to their daughters when families demand a male heir.

From the New York Times Book Review:

Xinran … on a train trip … meets a husband traveling with his wife and their little daughter. As the train is leaving the station, she looks out the window and sees the child sitting alone on the platform. Later she discovers that these seemingly devoted parents have abandoned their daughter — the fourth to be jettisoned in this way — in hopes that the next child the mother bears will be a boy. The Chinese call such people “extra birth guerrillas,” since they are trying to start over in places where no one will know them or their family history. [more]