Bend, Not Break : A Life in Two Worlds (Book Review)

This is a very meaningful book about a Chinese girl experiencing two different life in two different worlds : China and America. The book  author Ping Fu grew in a middle class family at Shanghai in 1960s, experienced Cultural Revolution in her teen period,  was exiled to America after her university life in China. Later, she worked as a waitress in America, studied computer science, opened her company, become an successful entrepreneur, recently became the member of National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in President Obama Government. The story in U.S. is another successful story of American dream. However, when looking at her life in China, it seems to be a nightmare.

In Cultural Revolution, she was forced to leave her mother in Shanghai and returned to her Nanjing biological mother who never looked after her for six years since her born. In Nanjing, she was marked as a black element and experienced cruel treatment. She was even raped by gang. Without the parental care, she need to look after her younger sister independently at the age of six. When she was studying literature in University at China,  her graduation thesis triggered off a world-wide shaming of China and its leadership.

When she was exiled to America, she only knew three English words : Hello, Thanks you and Help, and even didn’t know fraction in Maths when she studied master degree of computer science in America.  However, she become a CEO of a pioneering software company nowadays. It seems to be amazing for her from nobody in China to somebody in America.

Her life journey brings me many thinking about life and different kind of social systems. Why can a Chinese girl be fostered and grow brightly in America but become nobody if she lived  in China? What’s wrong of the Chinese society? It seems to be a fact that many people can not develop their talents in Chinese environment  but they can be nurtured and develop to be what they want if the environment shifts to be in America. Many American dreams proved that life is what you make it but it is very different in China. It seems to be a big cultural topic for us to think.

Life is like  a mountain rank, sometimes at the valley, sometimes at the peak. You never say when is good or bad to you. If she didn’t get trouble and was forced to leave China, she wouldn’t come to America. And the later life of her must be rewritten.

Bend-Not-Break-jacket

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