The clue is in the title really...this book is a biographical work, compiling stories of women all over China who have suffered oppression or abuse in their society. Xinran is a radio presenter, who is brave enough to set up the first radio show which discusses the lives of women in China. Within hours, her answer phone and letter box are flooded with stories of women who have been waiting to be heard for so many years.
Some are really heart-breaking. There are tales of abuse, forced marriages and the struggle to develop an identity in a male-dominated world. It is difficult to imagine that these stories actually happened less than 50 years ago! It was a real awakening for me, and shifted my life back into clear perspective: women in the UK complain about the treatment of women, and maybe we should still not stop fighting for 'equality', but we should also be grateful that we do not experience the horrors of these women. If these women can live their lives with such dignity and compassion no matter what hardships they face, what excuse do we have?