Reader reviews

VOICES CARRY reviews:

“This autobiography of Ying Ruocheng offers us a rare treat: a completely new vantage point from which to view twentieth century China. Ying was a Manchu and a Catholic, an actor and a translator, a political prisoner and a vice minister of culture, as well as being a man of subtlety and wit. Claire Conceison has done us a real service in making this unusual life available to the general reader.”                               [Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China]

“Ying Ruocheng was an extraordinary individual, a man of integrity and creativity whose story must be more widely known. Through this brilliant collaborative telling with Claire Conceison, we understand how he inspired so many and we learn how the arts can impact world events.”   [Ralph Samuelson, Asian Cultural Council]

“[A] truly excellent book… full of information and insight into the life of a wonderfully generous and learned human being, a most unusual Chinese and man of the theatre, a man who understood the theatre both of his own country and of the West, and who had highly practical and valuable experience in both.” [Colin Mackerras, Griffith University, Australia]

“…a never-relenting creative spirit determined to get the most out of life even behind bars or inside labor camps. Ying’s vitality, ingenuity, humor, and creativity as an artist and a larger-than-life character are in full display, making the book a great joy to read.” [Steven Siyuan Liu, University of British Columbia]

“A stunning collaboration between Ying Ruocheng and Dr. Claire Conceison. Right from the beginning I felt as though I was part of some inside secret life of a Chinese citizen. Dr. Conceison did an excellent job of capturing Ying’s dynamic, witty, and often mischevious character in such a way that I felt as though I was sitting in the room with Ying having a one-on-one conversation… unique in terms of the multitude of biographies I have read… I regret I never had the chance to meet [Mr. Ying]; though as a result of this book, I do feel that I know him, and that he and I are old friends.”  [Reader review. BarnesandNoble.com]

“A great book! A wonderful way to experience history through the remarkable life of an intellectual and artistic Chinese man and his family… This is one autobiography that reads like a novel…Ying’s message permeates and lingers long after you read his story. Hope they make it a movie!”  [Reader review, BarnesandNoble.com]

“Ying [was] an endearing, intelligent, and prodigiously talented and accomplished man, without any trace of egotism or arrogance. As I read the book, I kept thinking how much I would have loved to have known him, to have had him as a teacher and a friend… Most important [are] Ying’s talent and his massive contributions to Chinese culture, his great efforts to promote international understanding and to open China to the world. These are rightly what we should remember about this great man… an enjoyable and enlightening read. I highly recommend this book.”  [Reader review, Amazon.com]

“…a must read for anyone interested in theatre history, film history, biographies, Chinese history, twentieth century politics (and the list goes on)… a painstakingly researched and beautifully composed narrative… I cracked it open on a flight to Asia, and found that I had devoured it cover-to-cover on my flight. If you have any plans to visit China in the near future, or are simply interested in the complex and fascinating twists and turns of post-Qing Dynasty China–this book is for you.”  [Reader review, Amazon.com]

“This book is an incredibly interesting non-fiction that reads like a narrative… easy and exciting to read, informative, and left me wanting to learn more about this very special man and the legacy he leaves us.”  [Reader review, Amazon.com]

“Conceison got to know Ying on such an intimate level and gives his story in such a loving yet honor-bound way. This is a hard book—it shows what 60 years of isolation can do to the people of a country. And it is a glorious book, showing the definition of commitment and artistry all wrapped up in this truly astounding character…”  [Reader review, Amazon.com]

“As I read the book, I kept thinking how much I would have loved to have known him, to have had him as a teacher and a friend… I learned a lot about a fascinating artist, a complex but nevertheless sympathetic human being… and his massive contributions to Chinese culture, his great efforts to promote international understanding and to open China to the world… It was an enjoyable and enlightening read. I highly recommend this book.”  [Reader review, Amazon.com]