I have just been on the phone with one of the most amazing women on the planet. Xinran, author of several books including The Good Women of China – which truly changed my life – and China Witness, has agreed to meet me (not for the first time) to talk about the book I’m in the process of editing based equally between London and Beijing. It needs to be ‘Chinese’ enough and not obviously written by someone who’s not Chinese. I’m not, of course, and Xinran is, which was why I contacted her in the first place. She was the one person I knew of who could help me with the Chinese perspective and who could speak with a great deal of authority and I’m aware of how privileged I am that she agreed to lend me a hand.
Xinran was a respected journalist in China, something of a celebrity, and I feel honoured and humbled that she is giving up some of her precious time (I swear she’s the busiest lady I’ve ever met, equal only to one other) for little me. I’m not a respected journalist, nowhere near celebrity-like and am, in comparison, just getting started. But here was I, talking to her on the phone like an old friend.
I respect this lady more than I can ever describe. She has worked, and continues to work, tirelessly for the cause of women, Chinese adoptees (via her charity Mothers’ Bridge of Love) and for a greater understanding between China and the West.
I only hope the finished product – my book – will do her justice.