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Upcoming Lecture


Speaker: Veronica Li
Date: Saturday,  October 6, 2007, 2:00 pm-4 pm


Journey across the Four Seas

--Lecture and Book Signing by Veronica Li

Veronica Li with parents and siblings in Thailand

(To see more photos of Veronica's family, please click Photos.)

Author Veronica Li will speak about her book, Journey across the Four Seas: A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home.  It is a true story of her mother’s life in Asia before she brought the family from Hong Kong to the U.S.  Her mother, Flora, is the daughter-in-law of Wang Yun-Wu, former finance minister and deputy prime minister of Nationalist China.  Wang was also inventor of the Four Corner Dictionary and general manager of Commercial Press.  He was famous for his self-taught scholarship, which earned him the nickname, “Living Encyclopedia.”  

When Veronica’s elderly parents moved in with her, she decided to record the stories of her mother’s life for posterity.  Her intention had been to educate the family’s American born generations about their Chinese roots.  But what she discovered was a historical event that extended well beyond her family: the launching of China’s women’s lib.  Her mother represents the first generation of Chinese women to be free from the age-old practice of footbinding.  They took timid steps at first, until monumental crises forced them to make a giant leap.

Flora’s saga is an odyssey through Hong Kong, Chongqing, Nanjing, Bangkok, Taipei, and finally the U.S.  It is a story of a Chinese woman’s search for a better life from 1918 to 1968.  Unprecedented upheavals rocked this fifty-year period.  The Chinese had just overthrown their ancient system of monarchy.  Various factions fought to fill the power vacuum, and Japanese troops invaded China.  Life was difficult for Chinese of all classes.  Flora and the sisters of her generation rose to the challenge.  They got themselves educated and acquired the skills to earn a living.  They worked beside their husbands and got their children educated to succeed in the modern world.  Their courage helped shape Chinese culture as it stands today.  Chinese women are no longer bound by crippling customs.  At the same time, they have upheld the Confucian values of family and education, which remain the bedrock of Chinese communities everywhere.

Free admissions, but advanced registration is required. To register by phone, please call 212-744-8181, ext. 142. To register online, please submit the registration form below.


Date: Saturday, October 6, 2007

Time: 2-4 pm

Location: China Institute, 125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021



應華美人文學會的邀請﹐作者李王泰瑛將于十月六日(星期六)下午兩點至四點談她的新書﹕《浪跡天涯》。 這是一本關於她母親的傳記﹐ 記載一個不平凡的婦女生活在亞洲五十年的經歷。李王泰瑛的祖父是中國前任財政部長王雲五。 王雲五也曾任台灣行政院付院長。 他創辦了四角號碼字典﹐ 擔任過商務印書館館長﹐是自學成家﹐ 有“活百科全書”美譽。

當李王泰瑛把年老的雙親接到她在美國的家裡後﹐ 她把媽媽的生平故事記錄下來。她原意是教育家裡美國土生土長的後裔﹐ 讓他們知道他們的根。 在她意料之外﹐
她發現她寫的不只是個人的故事﹐ 而是中國婦女解放的故事。

媽媽李純瑛浪跡天涯。 從一九一八年到一九六八年﹐ 因為生活的波折 從香港搬到重慶﹐ 南京﹐曼谷﹐台北﹐終於移民到美國﹐尋找上進的機會。 在這五十年內﹐
中國歷史經歷很大的波動。 滿清皇朝被推翻了﹐ 新的民國很脆弱。 國內軍閥互相爭權﹐ 加上日本軍隊侵略中國。 人民生活困難。李純瑛和同時代的姐妹們接受挑戰。 她們上學唸書﹐自力更生。 跟丈夫們共同努力﹐ 培養和教育孩子們。 她們的勇敢對中國文化做了很大的貢獻。 中國婦女擺脫了束縛﹐ 同時保留了重視家庭和教育的傳統。 這些觀念是奠定全球華人社會的基礎。

李王泰瑛生于泰國曼谷,童年和少年期大部分在香港度過,十五歲時隨父母移民來美,獲加州伯克萊分校英語學士學位和約翰霍浦金斯大學國際事務碩士學位。李王泰瑛曾當記者﹐先后在法新社,《亞洲華爾街日報》和 《國會季刊》 任職。後來參加世界銀行﹐經常到亞洲和非洲發展中國家工作。

她 八年前開始寫作﹐同時在家裡照顧父母。她的第一本書是Nightfall in Mogadishu﹐
是關於索馬利亞的間諜小說。她的新作《浪跡天涯》是人物傳記, 記錄的是她母親不平凡的人生經歷。李王泰瑛在講座後還將簽名書。


講座免費。因座位有限,請預先訂位。 訂位電話﹕212-744-8181.ext.142。 網上訂位請填下表。華美人文學會的地址是曼哈頓東六十五街一百二十五號(公園大道和勒辛頓大道間)。 四﹐五號地鐵五十九街下﹐六號地鐵六十八街(亨特學院站)下﹐ F地鐵六十三街(勒辛頓大道)下。

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