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William Poy Lee's Writings

View William’s Books | Read William’s other writings below.

Bend, Not Break
On January 20, 2013, Tina Brown's The Daily Beast/Newsweek recommended Ping Fu's new memoir, Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds.   Ms. Brown then double-barreled her recommendation on NPRs Word of Mouth feature, Tina Browns' Must-Reads: Hidden Lives. But then, as the Chinese New Year rolled out, a long, hot string of firecrackers exploded in outrage...
Public Art
Summer Olympics to Fall Paralympics 2008:   Understanding China even for this bicultural Cantonese American, is more difficult than learning its official language.  Even now, 2-1/2 years later, all I can offer is the transliterated descriptions and impressions. I am not sure that what I’m “seeing” is actually what is.  After all, in Buddhist...
On March 2009, the 14th Dalai Lama went on record in the New York Times and other media, saying:  “Tibet is a living hell on earth for Tibetans.”  Yet any recent visitor to the Tibetan plateau can attest[1] that Tibet isn’t a living hell. Not by a long, long stretch.  Other global locations truly deserve that designation, and I have visited some of...
How To Cross a Shanghai Street Without Injury or Death...
There is a joke running around American expat circles in Beijing and Shanghai: When you first arrive in China, you blog.  When you're here six months, you write an article for a major US publication.  When you're here one year, you publish a book and then go on TV as this year's bestselling "China expert." And although I promised many that I would blog...
Female Defenders of the Motherland
October 1, 2010 - The first message of China’s 60th National Day Parade is unmistakable: a show of modern military prowess.  China, the sleeping dragon has not only awakened, not only has worked out to a state of rippling economic muscles, but also now has first-nation toys.  Plenty of them: terrorist-killing drones, screaming jet fighters,...
asia pacific arts -- an on-line magazine on contemporary Asian & Asian American art. a publication of the University of Southern California
APA's James Kuai talks to author/professor/activist William Poy Lee about how his 2007 memoir The Eighth Promise has influenced his thoughts about US, China, Tibet and more. by James Kuai Date Published: 03/02/2010     William Poy Lee is an author and political activist whose 2007...
Book Cover of Eighth Promise
When political rivalries, murder, and racism ensnare a Chinatown family, a mother reaches back to ancient traditions, and a promise she once made, to save her sons. Their marriage arranged in advance, my mother left China to meet my father in San Francisco in 1950. Before departing her ancestral village, she made eight promises to her own mother, who was staying...
California Magazine, November/ December 2008
Just after daybreak, alligators, tusked boar, thick snakes, and feral cattle roam across its long North-South roads.  An hour later, local Gullah patriarch Julius Bailey, revs up his yellow school bus to pick up the few children still living on the island, Population 60, to the ferry landing.  From there the sleepy-eye kids and the adults who work on the mainland...
Author and his 81 Year Old Mom
AARP Bulletin and On-line
Special Report: Aging in China By William Poy Lee - July 7, 2008 - From the AARP Bulletin print edition Comment E-mail Print Bookmark RELATED Special Report: Aging in China The Unexpected Dependent - AARP Bulletin Today Divvying Up the Old Home Place When Your Unexpected Dependent Is... - AARP Bulletin Today What Is This? It’s “jia,” the Mandarin Chinese...
Author at the BJ Olympics Complex
2008 May / June GO  Olympics FeverBY WILLIAM POY LEE Beijing locals may appear restrained, but enthusiasm for the Summer Games is breaking out all over. A uniformed guard protects Beijing's topiary Olympic pride. On a sunny "Blue Sky day" (an official meteorological phrase in smog-plagued Beijing), the very kind of clear morning all Chinese hope for on...