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What was it about being a Chinese wife that you stopped becoming who you might have been? As I work through my own life and struggle with how to handle feelings and saying too much I still so appreciate and respect the dignity portrayed by a degree stoicism. My last sentence not having much to do with marriage at all I especially cried when I read of how she felt in America. Not American to the Americans, and not Chinese enough to the Chinese. I don't know how to express all the emotions that go with my thoughts on this, but they are heavy and great.

They have been so blessedly sheltered from racial tension, but we have talked about it. We don't want it to come as a surprise, because it WILL come Lastly, it was sad to see the breakdown of societal values over time.

The dedication and respect and commitment and support to the family and its name. The same thing is going on here today! Of course there are always views that need changing, but there are always some yuckies that creep in at the same time. I'm sure the broken household I was raised in helps to shape my view of sadness here Oct 26, Gracie rated it it was amazing. This was possibly the best book that I've ever read.

Bound Feet & Western Dress by Pang-Mei Chang | ogozoqosolym.tk: Books

Okay, maybe not The best on my list, but possibly a tie for second. I read this in a day, and let me tell you, it amazed me. In all the books on this genre that I'd read, this was a thriller. A switch between traditional and ancient times, two women, both marked down with 'no value' stand up for their beliefs and show their uniqueness. Strong, they stand up for their righ This was possibly the best book that I've ever read.

Strong, they stand up for their rights, and question their actions. As culture is streamed through this book, leaking info. Bound between faith and culture I'm pretty sure I already said this , the women experience the worst-and their morality ad ethics teach us all--a lesson. Okay, my summary might not have been that appealing as the book, but I would definitely recommend it.

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Feb 15, Emma rated it it was amazing. Jul 10, Camelia Rose rated it liked it Shelves: So, there is a mini genre called China Memoirs? I found this book in the summer secondhand book sale in our local library and was surprised that I never heard of it before. I have heard and read many stories about these famous historical figures how can not I?

Bound Feet & Western Dress

Chang Yu-i, born in a progressive family i So, there is a mini genre called China Memoirs? Chang Yu-i, born in a progressive family in China at the turn of 20th century, her feet was unbound, yet her upbringing was very traditional. The teachings she received included "a woman is nothing", "a woman's sole purpose is to serve her men father, husband and sons ", etc In the book, Chang summarised her story perfectly well: And now I understand what my amah had meant about being "neither three nor four.

He thought me old-fashioned and uneducated, and did not care for me. Yes I was not traditional enough for Lao Taitai. With her bound feet, she was content to spend every day in the female quarters; I wanted to explore the streets of Xiashi. This conflict can be seen throughout her life. Deep inside, she was very traditional, but every now and then a burst of courage shone through. After being abandoned while pregnant, she managed to survive and raise her baby son alone in Germany.

She did not intend to pursue a banking career but when opportunity was presented to her, she seized it with no hesitation and proved herself to be worthy and capable. She was always attentive to the needs of her husbands, son and relatives, seldom put her own needs above all. She did things she thought "proper" in a time when the meaning of "proper" changing rapidly.

Bound Feet and Western Dress is not about rebellious spirit or working against odds, which might disappoint readers today. Among her brothers, husband and husband's lovers, Chang Yu-i perhaps was the least famous. It's important to hear her story too. It completes the picture of Hsu Chih-mo, the first mega star of the New Poets of China, widely admired by intellectuals in China and beyond. Today Hsu Chih-mo is less known outside China and the circle of China scholars, nor is Chang Yu-i's brothers especially the second and fourth brother , nor is Lin Huiyin Hsu romantic lover, who was a great architect.

It is worth to mention that they were among the brightest cultural and political stars of pre China, and they were the makers of modern Chinese history. Jul 03, Natalie Awdry rated it it was amazing. I bought this on a whim from a secondhand bookshop and had neither heard of the book, the author, or the subject matter. Considering this, I was struck by how down-to-earth both Yu-I and the author were about their lives.

While I don't doubt that I bought this on a whim from a secondhand bookshop and had neither heard of the book, the author, or the subject matter. While I don't doubt that Chang loved to spend time with her Great-Aunt while she was growing up in the states, it was really striking how she had no idea about the cultural and historical importance of her life until she was studying Chinese history at university; I imagine that finding this out must have been a humbling experience for the author.

Not wanting to include any spoilers in the review, I will simply say that Yu-i's life was fascinating and I was always disappointed at the end of a chapter. I particularly liked the sections of self-reflection whereby she questioned her belief in her modernity. My only issue was that the final 30 or so years of her life were whizzed through in a matter of paragraphs and I really feel like they would have been just as interesting to read about.

Just because of the event of , it doesn't mean that Yu-i's life had ended and therefore does not mean that the story should end. I'm not sure why her Great-Niece decided not to go into depth on the decades after the s but, not being a fly on the wall of their conversations, I do not know whether Yu-I herself thought that these were not sufficiently interesting as to be written about. I think that my favourite element of the book was the way that each chapter began with an autobiographical section from Chang before moving on to Yu-i's story.

This was a clever way to frame the book and remind me that this wasn't actually an autobiography of Yu-I. I especially liked it when Chang discussed periods of her life from which she drew parallels of Yu-I and, indeed, I found the author's life just as interesting to read about. Oct 05, Yi rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was amazed by her sheer inner strength to endure all the hardships and cruelty forced upon her by her ex during their marriage.

Deeply moved and wow-ed by her bravery and determination in not letting herself be crushed by her daily toil, but to take the chance to transform herself into this independent, accomplished, strong yet kind-hearted, graceful woman! My mother suggested that I read this memoir written by You-i's great-niece. This book certainly did all that for me.

Bound Feet and Western Dress

In my opinion, a great read - well-written, engaging, and informative. I see now that the Chinese TV series was very closely based on this book. Now my respect for You-i increased tenfold. Nov 14, Luanne Castle rated it really liked it Shelves: While the book cover calls this a dual memoir—that of the author and her Great Aunt Yu-i—to me this is more the memoir of Yu-i as verbally told and recreated on the page by her younger relative. And what a story it is. She was born at the very beginning of the 20th century in China. Times were changing rapidly. When he divorces her, she must learn to take care of herself and her responsibilities.

She describes the change in herself this way: After Germany, I was afraid of nothing. And who is this man who divorced her? Hsu Chih-mo, arguably the most famous Chinese poet of his time period. Check out this Wikipedia link about him. Why did he divorce her? What happened to her after the divorce? Aug 27, Monica rated it really liked it Shelves: The beautifully told story of a remarkable life.

Chang Yu-i was born in to a wealthy Shanghai family, one of 12 children, the second of four daughters. She was the first girl in her family to refuse to have her feet bound, the first to get a divorce, a successful business woman, a bank vice-president, a dutiful daughter and daughter-in-law. Her story is told by her great-niece, a first generation Chinese American who learned of Yu-i's story in her Chinese studies courses at Harvard.

Yu-i was The beautifully told story of a remarkable life. Yu-i was married at 15 to a scholar and poet, bore him a son, and left that son with her in-laws to follow her husband to England where he was continuing his studies. When she was pregnant with their second child, he informed her that he wanted a divorce. She was alone in Europe, pregnant, having to navigate her way through the obligations of daughter and daughter-in-law at a distance, finding a way to continue her education.

Her return to China was followed by was war, revolution, family upheavals, yet through it all, Yu-i made her own way, maintained her family bonds and lived an exemplary life, ending up in New York where she died at the age of Mar 24, Feisty Harriet rated it liked it Shelves: Yu-i's story is told by her something great-niece, Pang-Mei, who was born in Connecticut and is trying to understand her American and Chinese heritage.


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I loved the story; I loved Yu-i and watching her transform from a subservient woman to a strong independent one who tackled the responsibilities of her life with both Western sensibility and Eastern responsibilities. She truly was an incredible driving force of change and hope for so many Chinese women. That being said, minus one star because I didn't love the writing this is a first novel and I didn't love Pang-Mei's additions of her life throughout the book, I felt they were detracting.

Jan 26, Trice rated it liked it Shelves: It felt very conversational, as if you were sitting in on a conversation with Yu-i and Natasha, hearing how they struggled with their own identity, their own sense of self and cultural identity. Yu-i says that in traditional China a girl was nothing, and yet the girls in her family seem valued and well-loved, though due to the family's lack of resources at a critical point they don't end up with the same advantages of education as their brothers. It seemed to me that she was made nothing by the actions of a man seeking to be modern, seeking to be part of a world that he saw as valuing people individually, rather than according to duty and family.

Although it is also through this man's actions that she eventually seizes upon her own identity and value and enters the broader world with full force. She is an amazing person in her strength and in her constant giving and support to those to whom she feels tied. I definitely feel the added insight into Chinese culture, into the feelings and reasons for action, that this book provides. Apr 24, Marcy rated it it was amazing. As the title suggests, this is a story that describes two related women, one young and one old, who have struggled with their own identity and their Chinese cultural values.

The Chang family was a famous Chinese family. Most male members of the family were scholarly and sent to the west to study. Chang Yu-i, the older woman in the family, became scholarly as well, having been tutored inside and outside of China. The eldest daughter succumbed to an opium addiction. Almost the entire family moved As the title suggests, this is a story that describes two related women, one young and one old, who have struggled with their own identity and their Chinese cultural values.

Almost the entire family moved away from China, to finally settle in California. Chang Yu-i befriends a young woman in the Chang family and her incredible story is told to her from start to finish. The young woman is the author, Pang-Mei Natasha Chang. Through the elder member of the family, Pang-Mei finds and cherishes her own Chinese heritage, which had always felt uncomfortable for her in a white society that made fun of her frequently as a child. This is a wonderful memoir, unlike the others I have read. And it takes place long before the Cultural Revolution, which gives a different aspect of China to the reader.

Feb 02, Audrey rated it really liked it. An interesting book about Chang Yu-i's life in China. As someone who's half Chinese I understood some of the stuff I read in this book even though I was born in Malaysia and not China. The writing was done smoothly and at times I really felt like I was sitting in a room listening to Pang-Mei and Yu-i narrate their stories to each other.

I am so touched by Yu-i's determination to not give up and to continue to be strong in bad times. Hsu Chih-mo was a character I disliked from beginning to end. N An interesting book about Chang Yu-i's life in China. Nothing about him is appealing. To me, he is just a coward and a hypocrite.

Bound Feet Western Dress A Memoir

The way he instantly asked Yu-i to get an abortion after she told him about her pregnancy shows what kind of person he truly is. As I am not a fan of poetry, I couldn't appreciate his poems even though they were highly praised. And since I've already disliked him so much, I don't think it would make any difference anyway. However, if it were not for him and his horrible behavior, I guess Yu-i wouldn't come out as strong as she was.

A good read during the Chinese New Year. Oct 17, Remy DeJoseph rated it it was amazing. The only reason why I read this book was because I took a Gender studies class and it is a required read. I was hooked from the cover and the summary but I fell in love with it after the first chapter. The book is a dual memoir based around two Chinese women, one from the 's named Yu-i and the author born around the 60's, Pang-Mei Natsha Chang.

Bound Feet and Western Dress I.pdf

It is about two women born Chinese in a time of change yet they are generations apart, it is their struggle to identify themselves by their ideals an The only reason why I read this book was because I took a Gender studies class and it is a required read. It is about two women born Chinese in a time of change yet they are generations apart, it is their struggle to identify themselves by their ideals and beliefs or by their blood, and most importantly it is about Yu-i, one of the first women to not bind her feet.

It is truly one of the best books I've ever read. It's exciting, heartbreaking, grappling and you are left with no unanswered questions. Thank god i read "Bound Feet and Western Dress.

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Mar 30, Joyce rated it really liked it Shelves: Pang-Mei Natasha Chang comes across her great-aunt's name in a history book while majoring in Chinese studies and discovers details she had never known about her great-aunt's life before she emigrated to the United States in After this discovery, she approaches her great-aunt and then writes the account of Chang Yu-i's life as told to her. The story of Chang Yu-i's life gives fascinating details on customs and traditions.

Chang not only tells her great-aunt's story, but also tells her own story, transitioning back and forth between the her life and her great-aunt' life. The author describes her own struggles as a modern Chinese young woman growing up in America--the prejudices she encounters and her ongoing search to find her own identitya mixture of both Chinese and American way. I found this book to be very interesting and well-written.

Mar 18, erica rated it it was amazing Shelves: A gorgeous and compelling memoir. Pang-Mei Natasha Chang tells the story of her great aunt, Chang Yu-i, and the story of early twentieth century China, including interesting information related to the customs, traditions and mores of the old Chinese culture. Yu-i was one of the first Chinese woman to go through a modern divorce.

She was young, poorly educated, with two children, one of whom tragically died shortly after her divorce. Looking for beautiful books? Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more. Flap copy "In China, a woman is nothing. Growing up in the perilous years between the fall of the last emperor and the Communist Revolution, Chang Yu-i's life is marked by a series of rebellions: In the alternating voices of two generations, this dual memoir brings together a deeply textured portrait of a woman's life in China with the very American story of Yu-i's brilliant and assimilated grandniece, struggling with her own search for identity and belonging.

Written in pitch-perfect prose and alive with detail, "Bound Feet and Western Dress is the story of independent women struggling to emerge from centuries of customs and duty. She received her B. She practiced law in New York City before moving to Moscow, where she currently resides with her husband. Bound Feet and Western Dress is her first book. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

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