When Mama says, "The basket repairer charged too much today," I relax. The charming and captivating life illustrated in advertisements is one thing, but I was interested in seeing what real life was like for those women. The tongue-in-cheek ribaldry and contrived controversy could be forgiven, but the sheer unoriginality of Lan Lan's title, which might have been construed as an unapologetic attempt to piggyback on Lisa See's best-selling status, made it difficult. One mistake could cause not just one person to be deported but a whole family, friends, and business associates to be deported too. My face is pretty enough — some might even say lovely — but not as luminescent as the pearl I'm named for. We lived some of those things! You protect and defend each other.
The Confession Program is still considered a terrible secret and disgrace, not only by those who confessed or were ratted out but by our own government too.
Shanghai Q and A
Have you ever visited? Mama is still filling the air with her grievances when Baba interrupts. Ina third Shanghai Girl book hit the scene, this time self-published by aspiring author Vivian Yang. Though of course that comes with the significant caveat that Wang is the only original member appearing this time around. Artists were forced to follow new precepts that said art must be subservient to politics and communicate political and social messages about Communist ideology. They aren't here tonight and the room is sweltering.