Chinese Lessons: An American mother teaches her children how to be Chinese in China

| January 6, 2018


When single mother Patti Waldmeir decides to raise her two adopted Chinese daughters close to their culture, the whole family embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. They move to Shanghai when Lucy and Grace are seven and eight and stay until they are in high school.

Waldmeir, an award-winning author and foreign correspondent, interrogates everyone from orphanage officials to masseurs, from trash pickers to child brides, to uncover the human story of why so many Chinese girls were sent overseas for adoption.

She makes an astounding discovery in a Chinese alleyway, and takes her girls deep into the streets of Shanghai and the vast countryside of China, to explore what it means to be Chinese–and American at the same time.

Funny, heartwarming, gut-wrenching, and raw, this book examines important questions about identity, race and culture–through the prism of one extraordinary family’s entertaining adventures in China.

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