My Grandmother, the Chinese Censor

From My Grandmother, the Chinese Censor: “I was aware that certain images of China—foot-binding, famine, abandoned baby girls, t-nks in T—-men Square—seem to lodge in the Western imagination and crowd out much that is new and nuanced. And I was aware that Chinese censorship is real and crushing. But I’d never expected it to manifest itself in the voice of my own grandmother—who, if she chose, could certainly tell her own negative tales about China.
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My grandmother spoke not as a mouthpiece of the People’s Republic of China, but as someone who carried some essence of her homeland in her bones. And while China was a vast, ever-shifting, and, to some degree, foreign entity to my characters, it also spoke to something within, to a deep sense of what it means to be Chinese, even in exile, even American-born—a sense that is sometimes contradictory and often charged, a sense that transcends regime changes, geographical borders, and generations.”

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