Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices” as Want to Read:
The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  7,522 ratings  ·  760 reviews
When Deng Xiaoping’s efforts to “open up” China took root in the late 1980s, Xinran recognized an invaluable opportunity. As an employee for the state radio system, she had long wanted to help improve the lives of Chinese women. But when she was given clearance to host a radio call-in show, she barely anticipated the enthusiasm it would quickly generate. Operating within t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Anchor (first published October 2nd 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Good Women of China, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) It's not a "story" in the novel/autobiography sense, but rather a collection of anecdotes taken from the author's experience as a radio journalist in…moreIt's not a "story" in the novel/autobiography sense, but rather a collection of anecdotes taken from the author's experience as a radio journalist in China during the "opening up" years of Deng Xiaoping. The unifying thread is the author's own journey in discovering more about the millions of anonymous lives around her.(less)
Susan Kozianski I would certainly give to a 15 year old. Not so sure about 13. There's that story relating the experiences of the two heroic women during the…moreI would certainly give to a 15 year old. Not so sure about 13. There's that story relating the experiences of the two heroic women during the aftermath of the earthquake that could be quite traumatising to read if you've never been exposed to such things before, so I would hesitate with someone 13. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
"At that time in China, I might have gone to prison for writing a book like this. I couldn't risk abandoning my son, or the women who received help and encouragement through my radio programme. In England, the book became possible. It was as if a pen had grown in my heart."

A stinging indictment of patriarchal violence in China through the ages and the hypocrisy of the Cultural Revolution, a tribute to the destroyed lives of countless women who have been left brutalized by an unjust, barbaric,
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic
Wow, scrolling down the comments on this book I realized I'm the first guy to review this. Umm, here goes.

Continuing my year of China reading I casually picked this up at my aunt's house but pretty soon found myself absolutely glued to it. I've read a few memoirs of modern China and the Cultural Revolution, many of which contained stories of shocking cruelty and incredible endurance, but none have affected me quite as much as the stories compiled in this book. The images are just stunning: a gir
Sidharth Vardhan
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever seen a stranger or on a bus and wondered what kind of past they have had? This is a book voicing the fates of faces that are lost in crowds.

Xinran hosted a radio call-in show on feminist issues, “Words on the Night Breeze” from 1989 to 1997 which was hugely popular in China. and which brought forth the stories of women from different sections of society, bringing the ugly face of communist China. Almost all stories contain elements of horrible violence, sexual assault, and social
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Back in Nanjing 1989-1997, Xinran ran a radio program called "Words of the Night Breeze," the motive in her words: "to open a window, a tiny hole, so that people could allow their spirits to cry out and breathe after the gunpowder- laden atmosphere" [of the Cultural Revolution].

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices is a compilation of 14 life stories taken from personal interviews of some of these 'survivors' - women whose lives were agonizingly destroyed, their families ripped to shreds, thei
Larry Bassett
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china, nonfiction
I am chasing my adopted daughter’s heritage by reading books about China, especially as it relates to abandoned and damaged daughters. If you have been reading my reviews for a while, you know that my daughter who is ten years old was abandoned in Aksu, China at the age of 3 months. We believe that because she had a cleft lip and palate her parents were unable to nourish her so abandoned her in a safe location so someone with more access to medical resources could save her life. She was very mal ...more
Repellent Boy
Estoy absolutamente maravillado y horrorizado a partes iguales con este libro. Maravillado porque es de los mejores libros que he leído nunca. Horrorizado por las barbaridades que es capaz de hacer el hombre. Barbaridades que en la mayoría de los casos se cometen contra las mujeres.

La historia real es narrada por Xue Xinran, la propia escritora. Xinran era una locutora de radio, que a raíz de recibir la carta de una oyente con su propia experiencia en la vida, decide interesarse en la vida de la
This is a heartbreaking book which I would never have picked up except I was looking for an X author for my Women Authors A-Z reading challenge this year. I never know how to rate books like these because it’s important to know about the situations in countries other than our own, but I always feel helpless and angry when I know that women are having such frightful difficulties.

I have to bear in mind that this book was published in 2002 originally, the author having moving from China to England
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, queer
Xinran was the presenter of a radio show in China, during which she would ask women to call her and tell her about themselves. Over the years, she gathered many stories of Chinese women, and this book contains fifteen of them, including her own. It's a diverse collection of stories, including the stories of a lesbian woman, of loveless forced marriages, of hopeless love stories, of women who were raped as children...

They're eye-opening, saddening, horrifying. Xinran's matter of fact tone -- thou
Salma  Mohaimeed
هذا الكتاب صادم .

كنت أعرف أن معظم مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي محجوبة في الصين ، أوعزت ذلك بإنها دولة مستقلة تجاريا ولها بدائلها حتما ولن يكون المنع إلا لِ دواعٍ اقتصادية بحتة وتشجعيا للابتكارات الوطنية المقلدة .
لِـ جملة "صنع في الصين "تأثيرها !
ولم أكن أعلم كمستهلك بسيط أن الصينَ تخفي وراء وجهها الصناعي آخر قمعي لا يرحم . إذ أن الأسباب الحقيقية وراء الحجب تعود لماضي مشين دفنته الصين ولا تريد أن تبعثه مجددا .

إلا أن "شينران " في كتابها الإنساني أنثوي العنوان "نساء من الصين ... قصص وأسرار " تفضح الص
Nhi Nguyễn
Khủng khiếp, bàng hoàng, ám ảnh... Hân Nhiên đã dùng vai trò của một nhà báo để vén bức màn nặng tính truyền thống, thủ cựu vẫn luôn phủ lên đầu những người phụ nữ Trung Quốc, thông qua những mẩu chuyện đau lòng về thân phận những người "hảo nữ Trung Hoa" mà bà đã nhặt nhạnh từ chương trình radio đêm khuya Khinh Phong Dạ Thoại" của bà. Thân phận những người phụ nữ ấy, quyền tự do lựa chọn, quyền mưu cầu hạnh phúc,... tất cả đều bị giẫm đạp bên dưới những bức tường quan niệm thời phong kiến về va ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The most hearth-breaking stories in this book are those of women that were raped as children. I was somewhat prepared for the descriptions of atrocities committed during Cultural Revolution, and some of the other horrors described in this book but you can never quite prepare yourself for reading about child rape, can you? Perhaps because of that, reading this book reminded me of FDLF cult in USA and its leader Warren Jeffs who was ultimately sentenced for raping 12 year old girls, his ‘brides’. ...more
لميس محمد
" أي نوع من البلدان كان هذا البلد سنة 1976؟ مدينة كبيره تقبع بين الركام و ثلاثمئة ألف شخص فقدوا حياتهم ، و مع ذلك لم يعلم أحد بالأمر . كم كانت الصين متخلّفة !

فعلاً أنا معك يا عزيزتي شينران كم كانت الصين متخلفه بشّده !
" هذه كانت أكثر المواضع إيلاماً في نفسي !! "

قدمت شينران برنامجاً إذاعياً في الصين " كلمات على نسيم الليل " البرنامج المسائي اليومي كانت من خلاله تدعو النساء للإتصال و الحديث عن أنفسهن ,,
هنا في هذا الكتاب تُبحر " شينران " معنا في حياة النساء الصينيات و مايتعرض لهن من محن و صعوبات
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a social conscience
Recommended to Janet by: liked another book by the same author
This is one of the most tragic books I have ever read. Story after story of shattered lives - simply by being born female. But I recommend it to all women, so that we don't forget how far the world still needs to go and that we who live more comfortable lives don't stay silent. We MUST speak up for those who are powerless to speak for themselves.
Sep 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My long-held belief that the roots of extreme sexual repression can be traced to Judea-Christian influences has unraveled completely in the first 10 pages of this book. In George Orwell's 1984 it was obvious that his dsytopia was taken directly from Soviet Russia, but I never understood where Orwell was getting his images of sexual repression and taboos against romantic love. Wherever it came from it was also present in China.

The stories of Chinese women collected in this book will break your he
Aug 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
The stories are, as you would expect, fascinating and harrowing. The writing on the other hand is unforgivably juvenile. These women deserved better. But let's think for a moment about the type of person who would be allowed to become a journalist for state media in a repressive dictatorship. Logically, their selection would have little to do with any storytelling talent. Instead, it would hinge on being the type of conformist able to swallow and parrot propaganda without any intellectual analys ...more
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كيف يمكنني تقييمه؟ لا أعرف كيف يمكن لقصص كهذه أن تكون حقيقية غير مختلقة!
كتاب جمع بين كفتيه أقذر وأحقر رجال العالم، قصص تدمي القلب والعينين معاً. بكيت نعم. تألمت، كنت أباعد بين فترات قراءتي له وأكتفي بقصة واحدة كل مرة

.لا يمكن أن تقرأه امرأة دون أن يحدها ذلك على كره الذكور بشكل عام والصينيين بشكل خاص ومن عاشوا في تلك الفترة بشكل أخص

كتاب ثمين، ليس لذوي القلوب الضعيفة، ولكنه دسم مثقل بأوجاع أكثر مما يحتمله كتاب واحد.

أولى قراءاتي للأدب الصيني، متلهفة لقراءة المزيد عن الصين وثقافتها ومجتمعها. ذلك الشر
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
37% -- Sad stories. Well -written though.

2/3 of the way through. Beautiful. I love memoirs and this is very unique because she retells the stories of real people...real women who called her line when she hosted her radio show years ago.

The Women of Shouting Hill - wow.
Hải Yến
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
29. A book about feminism

Một góc nhìn khác về lịch sử Trung Quốc mà trước giờ tôi chẳng hề biết đến. Tôi chẳng thể hình dung được những người phụ nữ Trung Quốc đã phải khổ sở đến ngần nào để được trở nên bình đẳng như ngày hôm nay. Từng câu truyện, từng mảnh đời đều thẫm đẫm nước mắt bởi những đau thương tang tóc trong thời kì Cách mạng văn hoá. Ai có thể ngờ những con người Hồng vệ bình đại diện cho chính Đảng lại có thể làm những hành động không có tính người như v
Nanny SA
Buku ini adalah buku kedua karya Xinran yang saya baca,buku pertamanya adalah :Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of TibetSky Burial . Keduanya menceritakan tentang kekuatan, ketabahan da ketangguhan wanita Cina dari sisi(cerita) yang berbeda.

Pada tahun 1980-an, Deng Xiaoping mulai berusaha untuk 'membuka' Cina, pada masa itulah diakhir 1980-an Xinran medapat pekerjaan sebagai penyiar radio negara dan mendapat izin untuk memandu acara 'show telepon radio' yang beroperasi di dalam batasan sensor peme
Mira Margitta
Jos jedna knjiga u kojoj otkrivamo kako je tesko biti zensko u Kini.Djevojke i zene pricaju o zlostavljanju od najranije dobi,okrutnosti od strane najuzih clanova familije.Sta se sve prelomi preko njihovih ledja i sta sve pretrpe...samo zato sto su se rodile kao zene.
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, real-women, china
A collection of different true stories from different women, this book is written with the aim of bringing lost voices of Chinese women to the world. In spite of the emancipation of women due to communism, and in spite of the fact that most Chinese women work in positions equal to that of men, there still exists an enormous gender bias in Chinese society.

This book explores the stories of women during the Cultural Revolution. I had no idea it was so bad! There are many stories of women being sol
كتاب مرعب!!
I'm so overwhelmed!
نوع المعاملة التي تتلقها النساء في الصين لم يخطر على بالي ابداً.
الكتاب مؤلم جداً ، ويتوغل في معانات النساء الصينيات في زمن قريب (القصص التى وردت في الكتاب حدثت في ما بين الستينات والثمانينات)
. لم أبكِ في حياتي بهذا القدر بسبب كتاب.
رغم القصص الموجعة إلا أن الكتاب حوى قصصاً ايجابية استطاعت النساء التغلب فيها على ظروفهن، تكلم عن الحب ، والامل، والعلاقات الانسانية.
كنت اظن دائما بأن مكانة النساء ممتازة في الصين الحديثة، كنت مخطئة.
انصح بالكتاب لمن يحبون التعرف على الثقافا
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good. Such sad stories though.
Nguyen Cam Tu
Đoc cai tên Hao nư Trung Hoa, co le đa phân trong chung ta sẽ nghĩ đến những nữ anh hùng, những con người vĩ đại. Nhưng không, đây la tâp hôi ky cua nha bao Hân Nhiên ma qua đo chung ta thấy đươc những góc kín khuất nhất, và có lẽ cũng đau đớn nhất của hàng nghìn phụ nữ Trung Hoa từng bị nhấn chìm bởi hủ tục khắc nghiệt và biến động lịch sử dữ dội, đặc biệt là trong thời kỳ Cách mạng Văn Hóa. Hân Nhiên đã đem nỗi đau của chính bản thân bà, và nỗi đau của những người phụ nữ khác, giãi bày qua từn ...more
Mina Soare
An artless collection of very unhappy stories, which could easily challenge both George R.R. Martin or de Sade for shock value.

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices is in many ways reminiscent of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China : the first-person female narrator, the overlapping cultural settings, the focus on the life of Chinese women, the videogame subtitle.

Easily comparable - not for the best reasons.

Works of an autobiographical nature walk a fine line between fiction and non-fiction.
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
While the stories exemplifying the plight of women in China are interesting, as is the insight into what it means to be a journalist in China, I ultimately found the book a little annoying. The author is a participant in many of the stories, and often she is a heroic participant. The story featuring the author as the object of a mentally disturbed lesbian's romantic obsession bordered on ridiculous. The author seemed to "explain" the woman's lesbianism by reference to her traumatized childhood, ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"היא התחתנה עם בחור אמריקאי. במכתב הראשון ששלחה לי מארצות הברית היא כתבה: ׳לעולם אל תחשבי על גבר כעל עץ שאת יכולה לנוח בצילו. נשים הן רק חומרי דשן, הן נרקבות לאיטן על מנת לחזק את העץ, אין דבר כזה אהבה אמיתית. הזוגות שנראים אוהבים נשארים ביחד בגלל סיבות של רווח אישי, בין אם זה כסף, כוח או השפעה "

שינראן, אם חד הורית ועיתונאית סינית, שבמהלך עשור כמעט, הנחתה תוכנית ברדיו הסיני בנאנג'ינג שעסקה בנשות סין. בספר, היא מקבצת 15 סיפורים מזעזעים על חיי נשות סין מהסיפורים בהן נתקלה במהלך עבודתה. החיים בסין
Antônio Xerxenesky
Mas meu deus do céu que pedrada. Quero ler os outros da Xinran, especialmente "Testemunhas da China".
Missy J
If I could, I would give this book 4.5*!

Xinran is (was?) a Chinese journalist, who left China in 1997 in order to publish this book.

After reading this book, I can understand why. "The Good Women of China" contains 15 stories, among them "The Guomindang General's Daughter", "The Woman Whose Father Does Not Know Her", "The Fashionable Woman" and "The Women of Shouting Hill" (my favorite stories), which tell of unimaginable sufferings and abuses in the hands of husbands, fathers, strangers and gove
Bach Tran Quang
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Chấn động, và không thể nào quên.

Lần đọc trước tôi chưa có con gái, chưa hiểu được hết. Giờ tôi đọc lại, thấm thía hơn bgio hết. Như mọi cuốn sách khác, tôi sẽ note vài dòng nho nhỏ, nhưng với cuốn này, tôi sẽ viết review thật nghiêm cẩn. Post lên goodreads sau. Tôi thay đổi từ 4 sao lên thành 5 sao, lý do vì Hân Nhiên quá dũng cảm khi viết tác phẩm này. Và tôi mong đàn ông, nhiều người đọc được nó hơn, còn đàn bà, đọc nó để yêu mình hơn.

Xót xa và cay đắng quá!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now
  • The Lost Daughters of China
  • The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up
  • Colors of the Mountain
  • Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China
  • Red Dust: A Path Through China
  • Behind the Wall: A Journey Through China
  • Bound Feet & Western Dress
  • Leaving Mother Lake: A Girlhood at the Edge of the World
  • Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
  • The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed
  • The Concubine's Children
  • Red Azalea
  • Life and Death in Shanghai
  • Sweet Mandarin
  • February Flowers
  • China: Portrait of a People
  • The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time
Xue Xinran, who usually writes as simply "Xinran", was a radio broadcaster in China before moving to Great Britain and beginning to publish books. She currently writes as a columnist.
“Everybody says women are like water. I think it's because water is the source of life, and it adapts itself to its environment. Like women, water also gives of itself wherever it goes to nurture life....” 28 likes
“I received no praise for the rescue of this girl, only criticism for "moving the troops about and stirring up the people" and wasting the radio station's time and money. I was shaken by these complaints. A young girl had been in danger and yet going to her rescue was seen as "exhausting the people and draining the treasury". Just what was a woman's life worth in China?” 9 likes
More quotes…