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I think because of their terrible past, particularly this century, the Chinese have come to accept cruelty more than many other people, which is something I feel very unhappy about.
I remember when my mother pointed to a stone, and she said this was the kind of stone people used to place on the feet of the baby girls to stop them trying to climb away and unbind their feet.
I no longer have the terrible nightmares that I used to have. Mao had just died in 1976, and China began to open up. For the first time scholarships to go to the West to study were awarded on academic merit.
I like to have Chinese furniture in my home as a constant and painful reminder of how much has been destroyed in China. The contrast between the beauty of the past and the ugliness of the modern is nowhere sharper than in China.
I feel perhaps my heart is still in China.
I always wanted to be a writer.
For anyone to open their heart, they need the right atmosphere, and something to prompt them. For my mother it was her trip abroad: she was in a very relaxed, understanding environment. I was very sympathetic towards her.
China is more prosperous than before. The people have better lives but they are not happy and confident because the scars are still there.
At the age of fifteen my grandmother became the concubine of a warlord general.
Although my book is banned I am still allowed to go to China and travel. There is no longer the kind of control that Mao used to have-there have been deep fundamental changes in society.
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