The young woman in Wuhan

South China, 1992 For months I had been editing stories at China Daily about how China’s moribund state-owned enterprises were being closed, disassembled, and sold off in bits. It was part of Deng Xiaoping’s ongoing push for economic reform, which he had just re-emphasized with his tour of South China. As I traveled¬†through South China … read more The young woman in Wuhan

The sabra: From Hanoi to Jerusalem

In October 1993, I had given up on men. I was still recovering from the break-up of a long and disastrously passionate relationship that spring. Summer brought a series of brief mismatches and a suicidal bout of depression. On top of Hua Shan in northern China that October, I stood exhausted from a grueling climb … read more The sabra: From Hanoi to Jerusalem

Day 51: Mao’s holy cards

In the midst of this week’s scare about China, I happened to be sorting through memorabilia from the early ’90s, when I lived, worked and traveled there. And I found the Mao holy cards. That’s what our group of resident foreigners called them: laminated portrait cards of Chairman Mao, which suddenly appeared, hanging first from … read more Day 51: Mao’s holy cards

Day 34: The last time I left home

I left Ohio many times, physically and mentally, before I left for good in 1984. But I always knew I would leave. Maybe it started when I was very little. I used to play along the banks of the creek that ran through our front yard, and built imaginary villages from twigs, leaves, moss, and … read more Day 34: The last time I left home