What were Americans doing in China in the 1920s and 30s? How did an American child come to be born and raised in China? Author Helen Roberts Thomas was “China-born”: the daughter of American Episcopal missionaries in China, and part of a vibrant international community in the Yangtze Valley in the first part of the 20th century. The community was made up of educators, missionaries, and doctors as well as technical and military advisors to the new Chinese government. Her memoir tells a story little-known to either Chinese or Americans today, but freshly topical amid the current American fascination with another new China. Mingled with history, culture, and politics, and crossing paths with the famous, her narrative is above all the personal story of a coming of age like, but completely different from, any other. And, it is a family story: dedicated to the memory of her parents; dotted with sibling love, rivalry, rebellion, and achievement; and written in collaboration with her own daughter. “Wo ai Zhongguo!” exclaims the author: I love China!
In the Valley of the Yangtze
Commonwealth Books of Virginia
Stories from an American Childhood in China