Friday, January 29, 2010


If you've read her column, you know that Jan Wong is no shrinking violet when it comes to asking tough questions. But, did you know that Wong was the first Canadian to be permitted to study at Beijing University after the Cultural Revolution, or that she was a dewy-eyed Maoist who laboured idealistically at Number One Machine Tool Factory in the 70s, or that she convinced the Beijing police to return her stolen car that they'd equipped with a red siren to her during her stint as the Globe and Mail's correspondent decades later?

BEIJING CONFIDENTIAL is Wong's journey back to Beijing with her husband "Fat Paycheck" and two teenaged sons in tow in the summer of 2006 with the single purpose of trying to find a woman she'd betrayed to the authorities in the 70s, a woman whose life she had most certainly ruined.

Wong reported on the Tian An Men Square massacre in 1989, has spoken openly about the "tank man" and has long been a voice against human rights violations, a national shame. However, her personal shame forces her to make this very personal journey to try to reconcile with a woman named Yin, if she can find her. Beijing is a modern city now. Few of its million cellphone users are listed in its phonebooks and a geography that was once familiar is perplexing as the government gears up to save face and welcome the world at the 2008 Summer Olympics

No comments: