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Beautiful Country, 2021

Beautiful Country: A Memoir by Qian Julie Wang, published on Sept 7, 2021. It’s on New York Times bestseller.

Last month, a news about her $60-a-plate luncheon book reading experience caught my eye.

Best-selling author decries racism: … At the end, Wang said, a woman asked her what “illegals” griped about. She questioned why Wang is always complaining about America, and Wang should instead feel lucky to be in the country.

“My speech was about how America made me feel small, erased. My book was about how America made me feel small, erased,” Wang tweeted after the event. “And today, America prevailed yet again.”

Her logic that US made her, a Yale lawyer, small makes no sense, that’s why I decided to read her book.

When and how she came to New York.

Her father came to New York in 1992 seeking better opportunity, and she and her mother followed two years later, when she was seven years old. They soon became illegal. Her father was an English translator and mother an educator in a college in China.

They were so worried to be deported, she repeatedly wrote that her parents told her to tell everyone that she was born an American. Because they were illegal, the parents could only work in odd jobs. With the meager income, they often starved, in the richest country.

My question: didn’t her parents bring on these seemingly unfortunately events themselves? By 1990s, China was developing well, they could have returned.

She wrote that her father refused to join the Party while in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei Province, 170 miles SW of Beijing.  Because he wouldn’t forget what they did to him during the cultural revolution when he was in school. He  “would happily eat America’s shit before feasting on China’s fruits.”

What happened to her father who was born in 1962, in China?

… where he was forced to stand in the front of the classroom every morning as his teachers and classmates berated him and his “treasonous” family. Outside of school, adults and children alike pelted him with rocks, pebbles, shit.

I don’t know …  BUT I went to school in Beijing, Tianjin and Kunming  during the exact same time as her father. With my mother’s suicide in 1968 (an instantly counterrevolutionary labeling) and far more sinister family background (in Chairman Mao’s eye…), I experienced NONE of what her father had experience. Terrible horrible things happened during that decade (1966-76) and people my age suffered (most often, having parents sent away … ) but I’ve never heard people my age had suffered the way her father did. (That kind of events were happened to our parents, not us, the youngster).

How America, St. Vincent hospital treated her mother when she was ill?

With kindness and generosity: her mom needed a 10-hour surgery. Her father went home and searched for their savings, and gathered $500, in small bills. She asked if this is necessary. (Hmmm … I would expect some gratitude, and maybe chip in with a few quarters ??? )  When her father offered the $500 in an envelop with a slight bow to the surgeon, she wrote the surgeon took it and walked away.

My question: American doctors do NOT get involved with payment at all. Hospitals have payment department and private doctor’s offices have staff to hand the payment. I would very much like to know what happened to that $500.

Later her mother would return to the hospital again, for the pink nutrition IV bag. Her mother told her, each bag cost $400 and she needed three of them daily for a week. “That’s $6,000 …”  They paid none.

Just a side story. In 2003 I had lunch with my aunt and uncle, with their friends (husband and wife) in Beijing. They were all retired medical doctors. The husband used to be the right hand man to my uncle in Shijianzhuang. Together they battled many heart surgeries, including bypass. At lunch, the husband looked pale. His wife said, he just had bypass … and went on to say, as telling somebody else’s story, “… If the payment doesn’t hit the account by 4pm, all treatment stops.” Till this day, I could feel my anger. What kind of society would do such thing? (Was that possible the very surgeon who performed on him, was trained by him? Of course this was beside the point.) … The author often wrote how she missed China, how she ate well there.

On hunger: being starved in US and China are two different thing. I recently read ‘Maid’ by Stephanie Land, there are so many social programs to help the needies. Besides, the cost of  basic food are inexpensive, my friends came to visit US in 1990s, and said that many items’ absolute value are cheaper than in China (such as milk and chicken …). Hunger in China, meant tree barks and 45 million death

What did her mother do at work – bitterness at having to work meager jobs with little pay?

Spit into the tea cup of her boss every morning when she served him his tea, and complained to her at home how terrible her boss was.

I cringed. Spit? What kind of decent human would do such thing?!? No one chained you to your unsatisfying situation. China has been developing well for all to see. … One could always return to China, no?

What’s happened to them in the end?

They moved to Canada after five years in New York, becoming legal and even went to visit China.  AND … after high school, she came back to US for college (Swarthmore College, Yale law). Wait, if US makes you feel small, why return?

I failed to see her logic.

From the ‘Vows’ in New York Times in 2019, her father works as an immigration lawyer in Manhattan and mother a real estate agent in NJ. By now, she and her husband are partners in their namesake law firm.

USA is a beautiful country in deed. THANK you for making me whole.

Beautiful Country (2021) by Qian Julie Wang (1987-)美国 王乾著

说来话长的一本回忆录. 纽约时报畅销书

先说说是怎么认识她和这本书的

去年九月出版后不久, 她为书做宣传. 其中一站读书会, 在她犹太老公生长的村举行. Larchmont 是纽约北边的一个富裕小村. 她的家婆仍然住在那里; 也参加了此次读书会. 会后就传出她指责小村种族歧视 Writer’s Treatment Shines Unflattering Spotlight On Larchmont; Best-selling author decries racism … 具体的抗议是
1 介绍时主持人把她的名字没有念准
2 在她聊书时 餐馆服务员上甜品了
3 一些读者说给她做指甲的是亚洲人或者他们的儿子和亚洲人谈恋爱

她的回忆录讲非法移民 如何受委屈: 她1994年七岁和妈妈来美国 和二年前就来美国的爸爸团聚. 然后一家三口没有身份 变黑人 打黑工 受苦受难… ‘在最富有的国家生活在贫困中’. 她后来上了Swarthmore, 然后 耶鲁法学院. 现在和老公合开律师事务所.

应该是个励志的平淡无奇的故事.

读书会后她说 “My speech was about how America made me feel small, erased. My book was about how America made me feel small, erased,” Wang said of her recent Larchmont tour stop.”Today, America prevailed yet again.” 谷歌翻译 王事后说 “我的演讲是关于美国如何让我觉得自己渺小、被抹去。我的书是关于美国如何让我觉得自己渺小、被抹去, …”

Seriously? [疑问]

她🎓于耶鲁法学院 应该非常聪明 但她逻辑讲不通: 离开中国是自愿 (就是向往好生活 … ) 来后不满意 是不是可以回去? 中国的发展有目共睹. 何苦要在一个令您觉得微不足道的国家受委屈? 能够拿到耶鲁律师的人是凤毛麟角. 倒是觉得是美国成全了她.

这个世界怎么了? 非法移民也都有代言人,他们的声音也需要出出…

想了半天 最后借这本书. 她的声音很好听. 刚刚听了15%:
1 因为他们没有身份 所以她妈妈生活在怕被递解的恐怖中
2 一直告诫她 不要相信任何人 – 这要有多累呀!!!

这些都是美国的错 [呲牙]

Beautiful country 2

婆婆妈妈唠唠叨叨车轱辘的📖. 书中串加了好多中文: Zhongguo (China), daren (adult) etc. 为啥??? 😟 贪得意吗? 不觉得.

他们因为没有身份 边黑人. 天天提心吊胆. 而且天天让她说 “我是美国出生的…” -》 这有点此地无银三百两? 美国没有身份证 警察不会在街上抽查. (在香港住时 1980年代初港府要求我们随身携带身份证 因为那时偷渡客特别多…)

王写她1962年出生的爸爸. (应该是在石家庄) “我父亲的童年是目睹父母被当众殴打,同时在学校忍受着自己的屈辱,每天早上他被迫站在教室前面,老师和同学斥责他和他的“叛国” 家庭.在学校之外,大人和孩子都用石头,鹅卵石,粪便向他投掷.” -》她爷爷奶奶被打能理解. 但是一个1962年生的孩子被迫站在教室前 … 好像不对: 俺在北京天津昆明同期上过学 根本没有这种情况.
后来她问老爸为什么没有入党. 爸说 “俺忘记不了他们是怎么对付我的. …我情愿吃美国的屎也不吃中国的果.” -》(俺想不出是什么成语 – 没文化真可怕 – 只有直翻)

鸡头凤尾

她的父母只能打黑工 – 做些体力活. 她妈妈经常发牢骚 “会说普通话的人都是受过教育的…” 看不起广东人福建人. 后来她找到一个办公室的工. 抱怨广东老板把她当佣人. 每天给他泡茶时 她都吐吐沫在杯子里. -》她标榜自己是受过教育的人 能做出这种低级的事?!?!

挨饿. 她写到 在中国吃饱饱的 来美国后常常挨饿. -》 但她爸却参加健身会所 – 月费大概是$100 … 搞不懂 没钱吃饭? 另外美国每年30-40%的食物是浪掉的 1,080亿镑 (108 billion pounds / $408 billion) … 和中国吃树皮挨饿是二回事. 看到她挨饿 还真是开眼界了

她妈动了一次10小时的手术. 她爸万分感激 主动搜出家里仅有的$500 放进一个信封 双手献给了医生…😯 -》这里的医生是不碰钱的. 医院里有收费处 私人诊所有助理管. ??? 那个医生收他们的钱有点难以置信. 出院后她妈不久又回医院… 打吊针$400一袋 每天三袋. 一个星期下来$6,000多. 连同手术这些都是免费的 … -》2003年在北京我亲耳听见一个医生说 她老公(也是医生) 住院 如果下午四点钱不到位 医疗就停止. 享受着🇺🇸的福利 但口口声声说🇺🇸把她变得渺小… 逻辑讲不通
亚马逊上的1-2星差评 许多都是移民留的. 基本都是匪夷所思 … 不开心就离开嘛

结尾 他们最后怎么样了?

他们在纽约呆了五年后搬到了加拿大,合法化了,甚至还去了中国. 但是 高中毕业后,她又回到美国上大学(斯沃斯莫尔学院,耶鲁大学法学院). 等等, 如果美国让你觉得自己渺小,那为什么还要回来?

我不懂她的逻辑.

从 2019 年刊登在《纽约时报》的“誓言”中, 得知她的父亲在曼哈顿担任移民律师,母亲在新泽西州任房地产经纪人. 目前 她和她的丈夫是他们同名律师事务所的合伙人.

Published inBlog 博客

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