By Jian Ping
When Diane contacted me to give a talk about my book Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China at the Tri-City American Association of University Women (AAUW) in the western suburb of Chicago, I readily agreed. My grandmother, Nainai, and my mother are two of the most influential role models of my life. And I’m always enthusiastic to share my story with other women.
The branch of the Tri-City, St. Charles, Batavia and Geneva, organized the event at the St. Charles Country Club. By the time I got there for the event scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. last Saturday, most of the registered attendees were already there. Diane and I had communicated via emails many times. When I finally met her in person, I felt as if we had been friends for quite some time.
We started with an afternoon tea, with a variety of mini sandwiches, pastries, and fruits, with hot chocolate to dip them in. Ten large round tables were set up, with each seating ten women. I chatted with several attendees at the book signing table and was touched to see a couple of families were there with three generations of women.
Christine, President of the branch, gave a wonderful introduction to my book—capturing the essence of the story better than I would. For me, it was a moving moment of connection and resonation.
I shared with the audience images of my family, posters and photos of the Cultural Revolution era, and addressed the questions raised at the end of the session. I was touched by the audience’s interest and engagement and very much enjoyed the experience.
Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which is being developed into a feature-length documentary movie by award-winning director Susan Morgan Cooper and will be released in 2011. For more information, please visit www.mulberrychild.com, www.moraquest.com.