by Mark English
Mark English recounts some details of the life, character, beliefs and attitudes of a remarkable woman. Her father was a Chinese general and a colleague of Mao Zedong. As a very small child — during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution — she was sent to the countryside for a time to live with peasants. She was a professional gymnast from the age of seven to the age of fourteen. After a bad fall, she went back to school and built a career in an area of applied science. Her deep knowledge of traditional culture came mainly from her mother (an opera singer) and from her maternal grandmother who had been a concubine in the old China.