BookPolaris, March 27, 2013 (view all comments by BookPolaris)
To potential buyers who are not familiar with the period of the Cultural Revolution, this book may sound like a very inspirational rags-to-riches story, but to any Chinese person who had gone through that period, including myself and my family members, this book is more like fiction than an autobiography. Since its release, the book has stirred up a massive online debate over the veracity of Ms. Fu's alleged life experiences. Many of the author's claims have been since debunked and even the author herself has admitted there are inconsistencies and errors that need to be corrected in subsequent printings. However, as debates continue, more and more new findings have emerged, which makes me feel this book is simply unsalvageable. Suzhou University has recently clarified that Ms. Fu did not graduate from the university due to her early withdrawal and no degree was granted to her. It further clarifies that Ms. Fu did take English classes and got "excellent" as her grade, but she did not write any graduation thesis on infanticide as no such topic was assigned to students in the Chinese department, and her so-called "period police" was pure fabrication. This clarification by Suzhou University has basically overturned most of her claims in the book and on TV interviews. Moreover, Albuquerque Police Department stated no incident of Ms. Fu's kidnapping and three endangered kids took place; and University of New Mexico also confirmed Ms. Fu was not enrolled in any graduate program. So her alleged kidnapping in her book and her claim she was just less than a year before completing her Master's degree in computer science at UNM were not true, either. These are not minor issues or "errors of memory." I don't think Adrian Zackheim, the publisher, could still say "Portfolio had no plans to look into the veracity of the book," and I don't think a memoir full of false claims is worth any readers' money or time.
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Donna Davis, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Donna Davis)
I really enjoy reading memoirs and this book will need to go to the top of my all-time favorites list. It is at once gripping, and impossible to put down. For someone to come from such horrific beginnings and with nothing more than hard work, heart and spirit attain such success is at once both humbling and captivating. Do no miss reading this one.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring. Eight-year-old Ping is living a privileged life in Shanghai with her intellectual father and loving mother when her world explodes during the Cultural Revolution. With her family seen as an enemy of the state, they are forcibly split up, and Ping is placed in a meager camp with her four-year-old sister. After years of torture as a child, including a brutal gang rape at age 10, Ping is briefly detained after her college thesis on infanticide ends up in the hands of politicians. An exiled Ping immigrates to the U.S. in 1984 with just in her pocket. In 1988, she graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of California at San Diego and worked on the team that created NCSA Mosaic, later known as the Netscape Web browser. Next, Ping and her husband founded Geomagic, a 3D software company, which has counted Mattel and Boeing as its clients. Ping's eloquent prose and remarkable attitude shine through in every word — and her compelling story will remind more than one reader to be thankful for what they have. Agent: Laura Yorke, Carol Mann Agency. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Born on the eve of Chinas Cultural Revolution, Ping Fu was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Maos Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 and a few phrases of English.
Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new homeland. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought shed be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader.
She tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending.”
—The Wall Street Journal
This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero.”
—Booklist (starred review)
Her success at the American Dream is a real triumph.”
—The New York Post
andldquo;Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.andrdquo;
Ping Fu knows what itandrsquo;s like to be a child soldier, a factory worker, and a political prisoner. To be beaten and raped for the crime of being born into a well-educated family. To be deported with barely enough money for a plane ticket to a bewildering new land. To start all over, without family or friends, as a maid, waitress, and student.
Ping Fu also knows what itandrsquo;s like to be a pioneering software programmer, an innovator, a CEO, and Inc. magazineandrsquo;s Entrepreneur of the Year. To be a friend and mentor to some of the best-known names in techandshy;nology. To build some of the coolest new products in the world. To give speeches that inspire huge crowds. To meet and advise the president of the United States.
It sounds too unbelievable for fiction, but this is the true story of a life in two worlds.
Born on the eve of Chinaandrsquo;s Cultural Revolution, Ping was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Maoandrsquo;s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 in travelerandrsquo;s checks and three phrases of English: thank you, hello, and help.
Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new homeandshy;land. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought sheandrsquo;d beandmdash;a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader. A love of problem solving led her to computer science, and Ping became part of the team that created NCSA Mosaic, which became Netscape, the Web browser that forever changed how we access information. She then started a company, Geomagic, that has literally reshaped the world, from personalizing prosthetic limbs to repairandshy;ing NASA spaceships.
Bend, Not Break depicts a journey from imprisonment to freedom, and from the dogmatic anticapitalism of Maoandrsquo;s China to the high-stakes, take-no-prisoners world of technology start-ups in the United States. It is a tribute to one womanandrsquo;s courage in the face of cruelty and a valuable lesson on the enduring power of resilience.
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