Remembering China

Bea Exner Liu

Remembering China 1935-1945 is a memoir by an American teacher who went to Tientsin to teach in the year 1935.

She was young having just finished study. America was in depression. Her sister was working in Tientsin and invited her to come over.

While in China she met again, by chance, her school mate in the US. He was Wally Liu, a Chinese economist.

This memoir was only published when she was back in the US age 88.

It recounts her life in China from 1935 to 1949. It is based on her letters home.

She recalls the halcyon days of her youth in Peiping, as it was known then. It was 1935 before the Japanese invaded China. (p 4 Remembering China)

I find this memoir very interesting as it recounts the invasion of China through the eyes of an American. However, we must remember she lived a privileged life. She didn’t see much of the deaths and sufferings.

This is because Wally comes from a privileged family. They live in her eldest brother-in-law Nanking bungalow, albeit tiny, tucked between the mansions of President Lin Sen and Wang Ching Wei. (p 1].

She also fled the war zones earlier. She fled Tientsin in 1937 to Nanking and to Chungking in 1938.

Suyin Han

They had the assistance of the American embassy throughout, houses to stay in, monies and jobs.
Chungking was also too far for the Japanese to invade.

For a more vivid history of the sufferings, akin to what we see now on tv miles away, read Destination Chungking by Han Su Yin. Highly recommended.

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