Join the Washington State China Relations Council for a a book launch webinar with Dori Jones Yang, author of the upcoming book When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China’s Reawakening, on October 1, 2020. Details, including time and registration, are coming soon.
Award-winning author Dori Jones Yang spent eight years as a foreign correspondent for BusinessWeek covering China, where she interviewed local citizens, fell in love, and witnessed a tumultuous period that shook the world. In her new memoir, When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China’s Reawakening (Launching September 22, 2020, She Writes Press), Yang brings to life this transformative time in history and in her personal life.
When Beijing opened its doors in the 1980s, it shocked the world by allowing private enterprise and free markets. Dori was among the first American correspondents to cover China under Deng Xiaoping, who dared to defy Maoist doctrine to try to catch up with richer nations. Despite her natural reserve, Dori used her fluency in Mandarin to get to know the ordinary people she met—people embracing opportunities that had once been unimaginable.
Soon, Dori fell for a Chinese man who had fled China with his family in 1949 and only recently returned. Together, they found the relatives his parents had left behind, who were just starting to hope for a better future. This euphoria—shared by American businesses and Chinese citizens alike—reached its peak in May 1989, when a million peaceful protestors filled Tiananmen Square, demanding democracy. Dori lived that hope, as well as the despair that followed when the army opened fire. After Tiananmen, dejected and sure that the era of promising possibilities was over, she returned to America—only to watch as China resumed its growth.
“I wanted to show the country close-up, at the dawn of its rise to power, focusing on ordinary people and the way their lives changed,” says the author. “Understanding China’s motivations and dreams during that era could be key to understanding what is going on today.” Written at a time when China’s rapid rise is setting off alarm bells in Washington, When the Red Gates Opened offers insight into the daring policies that started it all.
About the Author
An experienced journalist, author, and speaker, Dori Jones Yang has written seven previous books, including a best-selling business book about Starbucks and two award-winning novels about Chinese children in America. When the Red Gates Opened is her first memoir. Educated in history at Princeton and in international studies at Johns Hopkins, Dori worked for eight years in the 1980s as a foreign correspondent for BusinessWeek, covering China during its pivotal years. From her current base near Seattle, she also worked as West Coast technology correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she has traveled throughout China over forty years and spoken about her books across the United States.
More details are available on her website, https://dorijonesyang.com/.