When the Red Gates Opened by Dori Jones Yang is a book all readers, but especially determined, headstrong females, can identify with. Hers is a story of falling in love with an occupation, a country, and a man. The Mandarin-speaking author takes us with her as she struggles to break important stories for Business Week—while also nurturing her relationship with the Chinese American man she wants to marry. In often metaphorical language, she guides us throughout Hong Kong, China, and other Asian countries, opening our eyes to the cityscapes, countryside, and the people. We see events through the eyes of a new, then a seasoned, reporter. We accompany her to interviews with common citizens and major leaders and begin to understand the antecedents of China becoming a major economic power. We learn what led to and the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre. As a fellow author who has also lived in a foreign country, I delighted in her use of similes such as, “…like handing over the church keys to a group of atheists.” This is a book dense with historical information that will delight the reader.
Evelyn LaTorre is a memoir writer living in Fremont, CA.