"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Farewell, My Beijing: The Long Journey from China to Tucson by Chi Newman


I honestly couldn't get enough of the writing voice. It's so distinct I believe I could pick it out among a crowd of strangers.

It did surprise me however, Chi leaving Beijing in a way I'm not sure if I have the right English words to accurately explain. Coming from a home of influence, to end up being uprooted with little more than a suitcase, and thrusting herself in a new environ with such zest, both surprised me... and then it didn't.

Chi's world truly does open up, her memoir continuing just about all uphill, save for the parts about her parents and the kidnapping. Again, I couldn't get enough of the energy. Some of my favorite parts (of the many), were a few of the servants and cooks, one being Renaldo. Hilarious. The spy was another... super hilarious! But so was that spam incident, and smuggling Leslie's puppy on the plane, and especially the return trip to Beijing at the airport. (Thinking in Mandarin...powerful).

Throughout, the chapters brought back fond memories of this type traveling the world, not exactly, but similarly... particularly of those with the wonderfully decorated homes, and optimistic outlook who embraced cultural change, actually looked forward to it, and lived life well.

Farewell, My Beijing exudes miles of passion and energy in so few pages. I would've loved to read more Chi stories. She's a charismatic storyteller. Exceptionally entertaining.

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