The true story of four sisters born between 1907 and 1914 in China, Four Sisters of Hofei is an intimate encounter with history. The Chang sisters lived through a period of astounding change and into the twenty-first century. Unusual opportunities and an extraordinary family education launched them into varied worlds -- those of the theater, modern literature, classical studies, and calligraphy -- but their collective experience offers a cohesive portrait of a land in transition. With the benefit of letters, diaries, poetry, and interviews, writer and historian Annping Chin shapes the Chang sisters' stories into a composite history steeped in China's artistic tradition and intertwined with the political unrest and social revolutions of the twentieth century.
Annping Chin studied mathematics at Michigan State University and received her PhD in Chinese Thought from Columbia University. She was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and currently teaches in the History Department at Yale University, where her fields of study include Confucianism, Taoism, and the Chinese intellectual tradition. She is the author of three previous books: Children of China: Voices from Recent Years, Tai Chen on Mencius, and Four Sisters of Hofei. She has also coauthored, with Jonathan Spence, The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years.
Carolyn See The Washington Post Extraordinary...The four sisters live, sustained by family, music, love of learning...an amazing story.
The New York Times Book Review Chin's style is fluent without verbosity, poetic without ostentation....This is, above all, a story of private lives, sometimes quite alien, sometimes disturbingly familiar. Chin is...to be commended for...re-creating a world that would otherwise have been lost to us.
The Washington Times This is a charming book, full of quiet scholarship and illuminating insights, and offers the Western reader a good introduction to the long tragedy of 20th-century China.
The Sunday Telegraph (London) Remarkable....It is not often that you read something so powerfully understated. One hesitates to throw the word `uplifting' around, yet it is appropriate here.