on January 29, 2013
==HK Time 19:55 17th Feb 2013== *revised regarding Guardian post 09:37 18th Feb 2013*
Seem things go dirty now, I am really surprise that Amazon deleted lin's review, which is the most detail, reasoning and sound. For those who are new comer, please go to page 5 in this comment and you will find lin's repost there.
One example of good reporting on this controversy is from The Guardian published on Feb. 13, 2013, "Ping Fu's childhood tales of China's cultural revolution spark controversy".
Those US media really disappointed me during this event, in fact, my faith on them is deteriorating. No matter what, Fu must paid for what she did, or otherwise it is making Fu as an example to follow. We already see the result of "rewarding the bad and punishing the good" in China, and things start getting bad in HK, just hope the US and American can make the right move
It is very clear that her story is full of lies, only those cant read chinese and not familiar with modern chinese history will believe the story.
Some even can expose by simple calculation with a little bit background knowledge:
1. Fu born at 1958, and the Cultural Revolution happened during 1966-1976, and there was no way for a kid with her younger sisters/brothers would be sent to correctional labor camp.
2. Fu claim that she go to Soochow University at 1977. The National College Entrance Examination opened again after the Revolution at 1977, and during that time, "political censor" is a must, if she was in the labor camp, there is no way for her to pass the censor. Morevoer SooChow University established at 1982, how could she study there at 1977?
And Dr Fang is now condemning Fu about her lies, if you dont know whos he is, this is for your reference:
on February 21, 2013
On 7/22/2013, Soochow University (formerly Jiangsu Teacher's College, Ping Fu's alma mata), released the most damning evidence yet that effectively invalidated pretty much all the stories in the book about her life in China. Among the documents was a registration card that Ping Fu filled out herself. It indicated that Ping Fu graduated from a Nanjing high school in July 1976. She joined the Communist Youth League in 1973 and served as the class captain (also called monitor) in the high school. After graduation she was employed as a worker in a Nanjing radio equipment factory earning an above average salary of 17 RMB per month.
Anybody with a slight knowledge about China during the cultural revolution would know that the Communist Youth League is the junior organization of the Communist party and the candidate pool of the CCP. New members were carefully recruited from the most active and loyal red guards. Yes, you must first be a red guard to qualify for the the Communist Youth League membership and you must initiate the application process by writing an essay pledging allegiance to the party and the communist ideals. To become a Communist Youth League member at the young age of 15, Ping Fu was no doubt among the "reddest" of the red elements. This is consistent with her being chosen as the class captain, the highest ranked "student cadre" of the class. Being among the favorites of school authorities, there was no way she would have suffered anything near what she described in the book. Also, at the time only well-connected and politically correct families had the chance to get their son/daughter a job in a factory after graduating from high schools. Workers were regarded as the leadership class according to the "Mao Tze-tung thought". Most of the high school graduates at the time were sent to the countryside to labor in the farm fields.
Many readers minimize the book's problems by attributing the discrepancies in the book to faulty memories. However, faulty memories cannot lead to complete contradictions to one's major life events.
In an analogy that is more familiar to the American readers, Ping Fu is like someone who claims to be a victim of the Holocaust, only to be found later that she was actually a promising young leader of the Nazi party!
Apparently there are many readers who choose to ignore the facts and instead frame the criticism of Ping Fu's book as some conspiracies related to the Chinese government. Another theory is that we critics did not want to see the horrors of the cultural revolution exposed. These are far from the truth. In fact, the majority of us are naturalized American citizens and loathe the communist party. Many are victims of the cultural revolution themselves.
You need to have some in-depth knowledge about China to know that Ping Fu is a cheater. This is why most of her critics are ethnic Chinese. I found that people within China don't really care about Ping Fu's lies. Why? Because she is fooling the Americans. The common motivation among her critics is the feeling that spotting a con artist without pointing her out is a disservice to our adopted country. We are here to simply expose what the book truly is: well-crafted lies that had nothing to do with the author's real life experience. These lies, however, are a powerful draw to unsuspecting readers because they cater to the American stereotypes of China.
Original review posted on 2/11/2013:
It is now clear that, from the author's backtracking and forced admissions, and more importantly, from the just unearthed memoir by the same author published in Chinese in 1996, most of the main events described in the book are fabricated stories. Together with additional investigations both by the Western journalists and by bloggers in China, an entirely different picture of the author's life story has now emerged. The following is a synopsis of the real life story of Ping Fu, based on the information revealed so far.
She had a fairly unremarkable childhood, born to a college instructor father and a government clerk mother and grown up on the campus of Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, located in the provincial capital of Jiangsu province. In China, the most important determinant of one's quality of life was the place you live. If you lived in a major city like Nanjing, your life would be much better than those living in smaller regional cities and 1-2 orders of magnitude better than those living in the countryside. According to her neighbors, her family wasn't classified as the "black elements" and hence didn't receive any harsher treatments than other faculty families on the NUAA campus during the Cultural Revolution. Like most of the NUAA faculty, her father spent anywhere between a few months to 1.5 years in the countryside studying Mao's books and doing farm work (the so called Five-Seven Leadership Schools) at the height of the Cultural Revolution. However, in her father's absence Ping and her sister were taken care of by her mother or her relatives. Due to housing shortages, most families lived in government-assigned dorms. You could say that conditions in these dorms were "ghetto-like", comparing to the modern day apartments. However, living conditions on university campuses were actually better than most other places in the city. It is safe to say that most, if not all, of the horrors described in the book never really happened to her and her family. If she suffered any hardship at all, it would have been no worse than other city kids during the same period of time.
Schools were disrupted in the first two years of the Cultural Revolution. Classes resumed in 1968 following Mao's instructions. By then the once destructive red guards had morphed into an "honor society" type of organization controlled by the school authority. Middle and high school students were allowed to join the organization as long as they behaved in school and their families did not belong to the "black elements". Ping became a middle school student in 1970 and joined the red guards soon after. She became a favorite of the authorities and was recruited to the Communist Youth League in 1973. Until 1976 when Mao died and the Gang of Four was arrested, grade schools were required to integrate practical skills training into the curriculum (so called "learning from workers, peasants and soldiers"). In practice this meant several weeks of tightly supervised field work each year. For students who went to schools during that period like myself, it was an experience mixed with fun of getting away from classrooms and sometimes harsh living alongside poor peasants. However, in Ping's memoir, this experience became "10 years of forced child labor". After graduating from high school in 1976, she also became one of a lucky group that avoided the fate bestowed to most of the "educated youths (aka high school graduates)" due to a policy change that exempted the first born. The educated youths were usually required to go to "the great countryside" to get "re-educated by peasants". Instead, she obtained an enviable factory job with a steady pay.
It is clear that she actually enjoyed a privileged life in China. Thanks in large part to the good home environment created by her educated parents, she received much better education than most students in her middle/high school years, which served her well later in her life. She cleared the background checks (meaning that her family had no political problems) and participated in the first ever college entrance exam since the Cultural Revolution in 1977 (failed to get in) and again in 1978, becoming the top 5% or so high school graduates lucky enough to earn a coveted spot in a college that year. However, her performance at the exam was apparently not that great, as it was only good enough to get her into a third-tier regional college called Jiangsu Teacher's College (there are several top-tier colleges in her hometown, including one called Nanjing Teacher's College, which I'm sure she would have preferred to get into). This point will become relevant later.
Unlike most other colleges, the government covered all the expenses associated with the education at a teacher's college, including books and meals. In exchange for the 100% free education, graduates from a teacher's college were expected to accept jobs as grade school teachers. At that time being a grade school teacher wasn't considered a good job for college graduates, and this was the reason why the government subsidized teacher's colleges. Also at that time, jobs of college graduates were assigned by college administrators. Towards the end of her senior year, Ping learned that she would likely be assigned to a city in the northern part of Jiangsu province. If you are familiar with China, you would know that there is a big difference in living standards between the metropolitan Nanjing and the less developed Northern Jiangsu region. Of course had she performed better in the 1978 entrance exam and attended the Nanjing Teacher's College instead, she would have had much better chance of staying in Nanjing. Faced with the prospect of working as a grade school teacher in the Northern Jiangsu for life, she and her family frantically searched for a way out. Luckily for Ping, her family had resources not available to the vast majority of her peers. Her uncle was in the US and willing to help, but first she needed an excuse to avoid the unfavorable job assignment, because if you were assigned a job by the government and refused to go, you would have hard time getting a passport from the government. Another option was to postpone the decision by getting into a graduate school, which she also tried. Ultimately they decided that the best course of action was for Ping to fake a "nervous breakdown" and quit the school. Through the financial sponsorship of her uncle in the US, she managed to get into an ESL (English as a second language) program at the University of New Mexico in January 1984.
Her life as a student in the US mirrored many of her fellow international students: supplementing her income by working illegal odd jobs as a waitress, a babysitter, etc. Being a woman with ambitions, New Mexico didn't provide enough excitement. In a couple of years she moved to California to take advantage of the many opportunities the golden state had to offer. One of the opportunities available to young women was a quick green card through marriage. Not every woman has the will to go this route, because you have to be willing to exchange your body for the benefits. This apparently didn't bother Ping, as she quickly married a Joe Blow only months after moving to California. The INS requires that to secure a green card, you must stay married for at least 2 years. She didn't waste much time though, divorcing the Joe Blow like throwing away a soiled napkin three years later ("green card marriage" usually lasts three years because that is how long it takes to replace the 2-year temporary GC with a permanent one). This transaction must have taught her a very valuable business lesson. With a green card on hand just 3 years after landing in the US as an ESL student, her future looked as bright as ever. Later she managed to marry another guy who could help advance her career, this time it was a college professor with expertise in computer algorithm. Eventually she became the CEO of a small software company (founded by her second husband) with 120 employees that is about to be bought by a larger 3D printing company. Owing to her talent in self-promotion, she is now sort of an unofficial spokesperson for the 3D printing industry.
Yes she may have been successful, but her real story wasn't that inspiring at all. To sell the book she had to make up all the drama, including a bizarre tale of getting kidnapped by a Vietnamese man on arrival to the US and slept on a concrete floor for two nights in a locked apartment with the man's three young children. However, she conveniently failed to mention the contribution of two real men that were most important to her success in the US: her two ex-husbands. Written as a memoir, the book is deliberately deceptive and thus deserves no more than a one star rating.
Note added on 2/24/2013
My review was partially based on Ping Fu's own account that she obtained her green card through her first marriage. She told the New York Times reporter that she married on Sept. 1, 1986 and divorced three years later, and the reason she didn't mention this marriage in the memoir was to protect her first husband. However, not only did she fail to mention her first marriage in the book, she went extra length to hide it.
Some contradictions in her book:
(Page 95) "I was almost thirty years old and had no personal life. It had been more than 5 years since I'd landed in the United States, yet I still wondered, what was an American life exactly? I had much to learn and to experience if I wanted to make this country my home"
(Page 96) "what finally transformed my personal life was not a class I took or a book I read. It was something totally unplanned and unrelated to these well-intentioned, purposeful efforts to make myself "fit in": a romance."
No personal life? Either "more than five year since her arrival in the US (1989)", or "almost thirty years old" (1988), she should either still be married to her first husband or just divorced!
The book goes on to say that she decided to leave California in Mar. 1988 and actually moved to Illinois in the summer of that year, apparently leaving her first husband behind. It is obvious that her first marriage, if happened, was a marriage of convenience at best.
on February 3, 2013
(Note: I originally wrote this response in Chinese. It's translated by an associate profesor of University of Florida with a few modifications of mine)
Ping Fu posted a clarification article on her blog today in response to my criticism. Her article can be found at
Ping Fu claimed that although my comments are correct, they are made based on the inaccurate Forbes report, not based on her new book. The Forbes report has since been corrected.
In fact, if you read my article, you will know that the Forbes report triggered my criticism, but I made my comments not just based on this report, but also based on a series of reporting, radio and TV shows, and video interviews on American news media since 2005. I also read the two chapters of her book that are available on Google Book. All of them provide a consistent picture. If the Forbes report made mistakes, then the reports by other US media and what Fu said by herself on the interviews will also be wrong. It is useless to single out Forbes (as an scapegoat).
In her clarification, Ping Fu said, "I did not say or write that I was in a labor camp; I stated that I lived for 10 years in a university dormitory on the NUAA campus. Chinese children don't get put in labor camps. I also did not say I was a factory worker. I said Mao wanted us to study and learn from farmers, soldiers and workers."
Just ten days ago, in a video interview with Google, Ping Fu said that she lived in a ghetto for 10 years of Culture Revolution.
See [...] at about 7:15, i.e., 7 min 15 sec.
In a different interview with NPR, she said that she was sent to a correctional farm when she was 10 and stayed there for about 10 years. She vividly described a story of how she brought food from the correctional farm back to feed her sister.
See [...] at 15:50.
How could she blame the US reporters for mistaking what she actually meant?
In her earlier interviews with US news media, she always claimed that she had been forced to work in a factory since nine years old, without education (schooling) for the entire Culture Revolution. Now her factory experience becomes "Mao wanted us to study and learn from farmers, soldiers and workers." That's what every Chinese student experienced in that era. Not forced labor, it is just a part of the normal school curriculum at the time. How come it becomes her personal tragedy? In her logic, should every Chinese student from Culture Revolution claim that they worked for 10 years in factory without being educated?
But Ping Fu now also said that since the schools reopened in 1972, she studied tirelessly. In fact, schools reopened in 1968 during Culture Revolution. Let's just accept that Nanjing schools were special and they somehow reopened in 1972. But why would all previous US reports say that she was not schooled for 10 years? Here are a few examples:
Inc. Magazine's report at [...]
WeNews report at [...]
NPR even said that she never set foot in a classroom for those 10 years. See [...]
Illinois Alumni said she was locked up for 10 years and released when she was 18. See [...]
Why did all these US media make false reports? Why would they all believe she was different from other Chinese students of that time, not receiving any normal education while others did?
Regarding the extraordinary story about her witness of a teacher being torn into pieces by four horses, Ping Fu clarified, "To this day, in my mind, I think I saw it. That is my emotional memory of it. After reading Fang's post, I think in this particular case that his analysis is more rational and accurate than my memory. Those first weeks after having been separated from both my birth parents and my adoptive parents were so traumatic, and I was only eight years old. There is a famous phrase in China for this killing; I had many nightmares about it"
She acknowledged that she might have treated nightmare as reality. The famous Chinese phrase was killing by five horses, not by four. Killing by four horses was a western way of execution in ancient history. If she had a nightmare when she was a Chinese kid, she would have dreamed about five horses, not four. A possibility is that she fabricated this story to meet western mindset.
Ping Fu acknowledged that her undergrad thesis on female infanticide was never published, nor was it reported by People's Daily (#1 newspaper in China). But she said she read an editorial on gender equality on People's Daily in 1982.
However, she also claimed in earlier US interviews that her thesis made big public impact, with Wen Hui Bao and People's Daily reporting her findings, though her name was not referenced. Listen to what she said on NPR at [...] at 18:00
If her thesis was never published, how would newspapers know her findings? All right, granted that those newspapers had secret channels to learn her findings. How come the People's Daily report was about gender equality? It was commonplace for Chinese newspapers to promote gender equality in those years. What makes her to connect that editorial with her thesis on female infanticide?
Ping Fu claimed that she heard UN sanctioned China (due to her findings) while awaiting her passport. This is a significant but ridiculous event (UN sanction needs the blessing from China and other four permanent council members). She heard it from someone, and then made this claim (as a fact) everywhere in US media!?
In response to questions about UN sanction, Ping Fu mentioned a Stanford student, Steven W. Mosher, who wrote about Chinese female infanticide in 1981 and published his book in 1984; "the same year I was waiting for my passport," Fu claimed. Then she continued with, "According to the Los Angeles Times, Mosher successfully lobbied George W. Bush to cut UN funding for China. His story and the timeline are consistent with my experience."
Ping Fu arrived at US in January 1984. In order to draw connection with Mosher, she changed gear by stating that she was waiting for her passport in that year. As for Bush's cut of UN funding, that's Bush sanctioning UN (due to China's birth policy), not UN sanctioning China. Moreover, Bush became the president in 2001. That's 17 years after Fu moved to US. What will all these have anything to do with her story of being forced to leave China?
Ping Fu claimed in her clarification that the government told her to leave, not giving a specific destination. (She said she waited her passport for a year.) She got a student visa, which was secured through a family friend at the University of New Mexico.
However, in earlier interviews, she had repeatedly claimed that the government told her to leave China in two weeks. She even repeated this statement to the Forbes reporter the day before yesterday. Listen to what she said 10 days ago in the Google interview: Her thesis caught national and international attention, UN sanctioned China, she was jailed for three days, Deng Xiaoping (China's paramount leader after Mao) intervened, she was released and given a passport two weeks later, and told to leave China. （[...]10:30)
She got her passport in two weeks after her three-day arrest! Yes, she said that, facing the camera, just 10 days ago. Now she changed her words, stating that it was very difficult to get the passport and she got hers more than one year after her release. Is she lying?
Fu said in interviews that she knew only three English words when arriving at US although the specific words varied in different interviews. She now says, "English language classes were offered, but not required. I did not study English ever. I had `level zero' English, just like most Americans know a few words of Spanish or French. I tried to learn more English when I knew I was going to the U.S., but when I arrived, I only remembered a few."
A few, not three anymore? But what she says now is still a lie. First, since 1978, English is a required course in college. Second, her classmate (Zhi Lao Zhai, blog name, acknowledged by Fu as her classmate) stated in his blog that, "the 1978 students in the Chinese literature department were placed in two English classes. Fu's English is good among us. She was in the fast-track class."Third, Fu acknowledged that she passed the entrance exams to become a graduate student in Nanjing University. Graduate entrance exams had English.
In her clarification, she claimed that, "One of my classmates also responded to Fang's article on his blog. What he says is consistent with what I wrote in the book, so he must be a classmate."
That's another lie. She can fool American readers who do not know Chinese (the classmate's bog is in Chinese). In fact, her classmate's blog was entirely dedicated to reveal her lies. The blog is at [...]
Fu claimed that she didn't apply for political asylum. (It was a common routine to apply for green card through political asylum with claims of mistreatment by Chinese government on its one-child policy in late 80s. )
However, in February last year, when Singtao Daily reported on the first immigrant entrepreneur forum sponsored by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, it clearly stated that Fu received her green card through political asylum: "The four immigrant entrepreneurs on the speakers' stage all have their stories. Geomagic's Ping Fu was born in the mainland of China, grew up during Culture Revolution, received residence status through political asylum after coming to US in 1983, and then created her own business." See [...]
If Fu didn't get her green card through political asylum, how did she get it in 1987 when she was an undergrad international student? Other means for green card could not been applied to her.
Ping Fu said, "Criticism is not a form of defamation; it is a form of speaking or seeking truth. I welcome constructive criticism."
But she has been lying, for many years. Now, as she finds that she can no longer hold up the old lies, she creates new ones to cover the old. How can that be constructive? Revealing a liar's lies, exposing a cheater's cheats, that is not defaming. That is merely pointing out the truth.
on January 29, 2013
Fabricating suffering for personal gain is a true insult to those who did suffer.
[A promotion photo from the author that tells a different story from her book]
Search google image using the words "Ping, in the bottom row, second from the right along with the other children forced to live in government dormitories during China's Cultural Revolution. Image: Courtesy of Ping Fu.", you will get a black/white photo of the author (at fastcompany.com)
The author was among a group of kids posing happily under the banner "platoon of red guards". That means Ping was one of the red guards herself during the culture revolution. In the background stood an ancient style tower and incense burner, both were very rare during the culture revolution and usually found in parks or tourist sites, I cannot believe "government dormitories" looked like that. It turns out that the picture was taken in the city of Nanjing. The tower was Ling Gu Ta (memorial tower). Chiang Kai-shek's handwriting was carved on the incense burner in memory of fallen heroes for the Republic of China. Now I am certain that the photo was taken at a tourist site, not "government dormitories". (on 2/1/2013 at huffingtonpost, Ping Fu explained that the photo was taken at her school. The incense burner alone refutes her explanation.)
[A surge of negative ratings at amazon]
There is a reason for the sudden surge of the negative comments here at amazon. Ping Fu's book promotion was translated into Chinese at Forbes' Chinese website on 1/25/2013, and picked up on 1/28/2013 by Dr. Fang Zhouzi (Fang Shiming), a freelance writer who is famous for cracking down fraud in China. Before Dr. Fang's questioning Fu's story, not too many Chinese-speaking people actually knew who Ping Fu was. Dr. Fang just opened a floodgate. Fang is by no means any favor of the Chinese government. The boldness and sloppiness of Ping Fu's fabrications were just too outrageous!
[The author and publisher's backtracking]
One of Ping's claims turns out not to be reality. In the book, the author stated: "On one occasion,the Red Guards gathered us to watch a teacher be thrown head first into a deep well, and another quartered by four horsemen on the soccer field." At huffingtonpost on 2/1/13, Ping explained the four horsemen claim: "To this day, in my mind, I think I saw it. That is my emotional memory of it. After reading Fang's post, I think in this particular case that his analysis is more rational and accurate than my memory. Those first weeks after having been separated from both my birth parents and my adoptive parents were so traumatic, and I was only eight years old. There is a famous phrase in China for this killing; I had many nightmares about it."
Ping Fu blamed her ghostwriter Meimei Fox for "exaggeration" in an International Herald Tribune report on 2/20/2013. Here is part of the report: In the interview, she volunteered an example of an error: a widely criticized account of the ''period police,''the authorities who checked a woman's menstrual cycle to ensure she wasn't pregnant in the early days of the one-child policy. To stop women substituting others' sanitary pads for inspection, they were sometimes required to use their own finger to show blood. Through a misunderstanding with Ms. Fox, Ms. Fu said this was portrayed as the use of other people's fingers - an invasion of the woman's body. Ms. Fox "wrote it wrong,'' she said. ''I corrected it three times but it didn't get corrected.'' Women used their own finger to show blood, she said, but the mistake went into print anyway. In general, Ms. Fox may have ''just made some searches on the Internet that maybe weren't correct,'' Ms. Fu said. (I have to point out that the whole "period police in college" story is absurd even with Ping Fu's "correction".)
Many experts in China Study casted doubts over the truthfulness of the stories in this book in a guardian report on 2/13/2013. Publisher Adrian Zackheim responded: "Sometimes, despite everyone's best efforts, minor mistakes appear in nonfiction books. Whenever they are brought to an author's attention they are corrected in future printings. Ping has already acknowledged several of these, and if any additional corrections are required, of course those will be made as well." it is as close you can get for a publisher to admit "mistakes".
[The book's defenders]
Katie Baker from Daily Beast failed her job as a journalist. in her 2/4/2013 piece about this story, she picked and chose those emotional and non-informative sentences from the amazon negative reviews and hide the name of the single most important figure in the whole story from her readers: Fang Zhouzi. Once the name "Fang Zhouzi" enters google search, Ping Fu's house of cards will simply collapse.
Here comes the master! Harold Evans published an article at the daily beast on 2/11/2013, accusing the critical reviewers at amazon "hired by the Chinese government" basing on anecdotal evidences, internet rumors and speculations. He was not bothered by the photo showing Ping Fu posing as a red guard, nor did he take notice of Ping Fu's own admission that her "research on infanticides" that she claimed caused her "deportation to the US" was not published anywhere in 1982. If you cannot argue with facts, accuse your opponents communists, have we seen that movie before? He even thought amazon's openness for book reviews "naiveté". What is the alternative? Media monopoly under Sir Harold Evans? The publishing campaign of Ping Fu's memoir is a typical case of publicity malpractice, yet Harold Evans decided to silence the critics by resorting to wild accusations and name callings. As a highly respected journalist, Sir Harold Evans managed to sink so low that he felt obliged to describe an amazon reviewer's gender as "Male, female, or hermaphrodite".
On 06/28/2013, after all those inconsistencies and fabrications of Ping Fu's book have been exposed (some have even been admitted by Ping Fu herself), New York Times columnist Joe Nocera published "Cultural Revolution Vigilantes". He followed Harold Evans' playbook, first rehashed Ping Fu's story as if it were the truth, then changed the target to her critics. Facing undeniable evidences against Ping Fu's credibility, Mr. Nocera simply brushed the inconveniences aside with these magical words: "Yes, Ping Fu's book has mistakes in it. But ...". He believed the critics were relentless because "there is almost no one in China willing to delve into the Cultural Revolution" and "It remains a deeply painful subject to those who lived through it". Even if Joe Nocera decided to ignore the fact that culture revolution has been constantly discussed in China (the most recent hot story is president Xi Jinping's send-down-to-countryside experience), he should have read the amazon reviews with so many personal stories from that period before he commented on them. The possibility that fake memoirs irritate people is simply beyond Mr. Nocera's comprehension. In an effort to outperform Sir Harold Evans, Joe Nocera singled out Cindy Hao as an example of Ping Fu's critics. Cindy Hao was "a freelance translator whom the Beijing bureau of The New York Times uses on occasion". Nocera quoted Cindy's point of view that "Ping Fu made up her whole story", an opinion I share which is nothing peculiar. The whole point of using Cindy as an example boils down to this sentence: "She is no longer permitted to do reporting for the bureau". Have you ever wondered why the major US media outlets speak in one voice? I also cannot help but wonder whom Joe Nocera was talking to: the general public? Or the upcoming Cindy Haos in the future!
[Thoughts on the story]
Who is the winner of the whole story? Ping Fu's credibility has already been damaged, it is very unlikely we will hear from her after this. Chinese communist party emerges as the surprising winner here. On the one hand, Ping turned serious issues and historic events into cheap cartoons, muddled the water, tempered the history records, and transformed the ruling party of China's wrong doings in the past into easily disputable logic holes; On the other hand, frustrated Chinese witness some of the western media paying no attention to facts, they are just much more skillful in crafting and selling messages than the Chinese government propaganda. Negative ratings here are ferocious, they are the desperate cries in the dark when facts are the usual casualties in China under the name of "stability", while they get lost in the west in the jungle of "political correctness".
[Conclusion in Ping Fu's words]
Ping Fu said it best in her book (Page 56):
"At the same time, I was surprised by how limited people's thinking could be. It seemed to me that some Americans had a very narrow view of life, even though their society was so much more open than China's. In China, we didn't believe the propaganda that the government fed us on a daily basis. In America, I realized that propaganda still existed, only it was far subtler. It came from the media companies and advertisers rather than directly from the government. It was clever, with a lot of science behind it. People could end up brainwashed without even being aware of it. We didn't have free speech in China, but we were free thinkers. In America, I sometimes wondered if the opposite was true. I found people's sense of superiority when it came to foreign policy unsettling: they seemed so certain that the American way was the right way. "
on January 29, 2013
Her story about her experiences in China is so fake. Anyone who has some knowledge about the history during that period can easily tell that it's a totally fake story. She wouldn't be able to get into a university in China at that time if she didn't have a politically "good" background. Going to America was a dream of every Chinese back then. Everyone would conduct such a crime if the penalty was to be deported to America.
It's also funny that the second picture in this webpage [...] shows that she herself was a member of Mao's Red Guard. She must have had a good time during China's Cultural Revolution and the got into a university due to her "good" performance within the Red Guard.
on January 29, 2013
Sympathy towards one's tragic experience and admiration for the extraordinary comeback often make people want to believe in stories like this. But as the recently disgraced Lance Armstrong can tell you, no matter how sympathetic and extraordinary your story is, it only matters when it is TRUE.
I can understand those who gave 5 stars to this book. For a lay US reader who has not lived in the 80's China, every bit of this story sounds so authentic. It matched up with every depiction of that era that people hear or see the in media. Poverty, hunger, persecution, humiliation, and rape - all the elements of a third world revolution odyssey were packed in this book, what's not to believe? And I would have no trouble believing that this book tops the best seller on amazon after the Forbes magazine and the daily beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown gave raving review on this book.
However, as any person who has lived in that era of China can tell you, Ping's story is simply impossible to be true. Thanks to the internet age in which the main media outlets are not the single source of information (let alone the truth), Ping's attempt of telling fabricated story to an unwitting audience would not stand a chance.
It is true that Ping has witnessed the Cultural Revolution in her young age. And it is also true that during the Culture Revolution, all the tragedies described in her book have happened in numerous places and numerous times in China. However it was based on these truth, Ping starts to fabricate the lies. Her story simply does not add up: You cannot be severely politically persecuted and got admitted to college in 1977 at the same time. In the year of 1977, the college entrance exams were re-established after 10-years of abolishment. However, to get an admission, one's political background is far more important than his/her academic achievement. If Ping was indeed prosecuted because of her political background, there is no way for her to get into the college just because she scored high in the entrance exam (not to mention that she cannot possibly score high as she did not receive any education before).
The `being-sent-to-US' story is even more absurd. First, in the early 80's, it is almost unimaginable to publish an article portraiting anything negative of the conservative regime on any media. To say it was published on the highest-rank state-run newspaper is even less likely. The famous Chinese anti-fraud activist Fang Zhouzi has searched the People's daily achieve and found no such article. Second, the claim that she was punished by the regimen by exiling her to the United States is even more beyond comprehension. To the American reader who does not know much about the history, imagine the Kim Jong Il regime punishing their dissidents by sending them to the US. That's a complete laugh. The fact that Ping went to the college right after the revolution and her capability of leaving China in early 1980 to the US, plus the picture showing she posing as a `Red Guard`(see Lin's review), made it sounds more like she and her family was not the subject of persecution, but rather someone who has benefited from the movement.
Truth may be bent, yet one's credibility, once broken, can never be restored.
on January 22, 2013
(Some people may get confused about what happened to my review. Here is the story: My oringinal most popular 1 star review was deleted by Amazon on the evening of Feb 16. I then posted this new 5 star review on the morning of Feb 18, which was voted to be The most helpful favorable review within hours. Then on the afternoon of Feb 21, Amazon restored my original 1-star review. But I like my new 5 star rating review better now, so I'll keep it as it is. I'll continue to put my update of the events on top and let the original Feb 18 5-star review stay at the bottom. References for this review and my original 1-star review are saved at amazon.com/lins-review-full-document-/forum/Fx1M49LYP8YZYQ4/TxGHYM4ZILXNNM/1/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1591845521)
I just remembered another fact to prove that Ping Fu lied about major events in her life.
When the college entrance exam resumed in 1977 after the Cultural Revolution, only those who graduated from high school were allowed to take the exams except those who should graduate between 1966-1968, because there was no school in those three years.
Ping Fu was born in 1958, should graduate high school around 1976. She took the College Entrance Exam and entered university in 1978. Had she not gone to school for 10 years as she claimed, she wouldn't be allowed to take the College Entrance Exam and to go to the university.
Feb 22 (2)
As I said in this review, I gave 5 stars for Ping Fu's audacity to lie, to take advantage and to abuse the trust of innocent unsuspecting journalists.
On Feb 20, DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW wrote two articles about Ping Fu and her memoire in International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. I guess DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW is a very nice and trusting person. With this much of evidence against Fu, Ms. TATLOW still gave Ping Fu the benefit of doubt, took her words as something trustworthy and did not double check. How did Ping Fu pay her back? Ping Fu insulted Ms. Tatlow's intelligence right back with more lies, which in turn insulted her's readers' intelligence and made DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW look like a very incompetent journalist.
(continued in comment section in page 80)
The coauthor of this book, Meimei Fox, wrote a good piece 3 days ago on her huffingtonpost.com blog titled: Show Up, Speak Up, Stand Up: A 2013 Rhodes Scholar's Formula for Changing the World.
Yes, Ms. Fox, you are right! We Chinese immigrants spoke up and stood up this time. Together, we changed the course for this book and many other things:)
(revised on Feb 19)
A must read. This book is going to be in history, to outshine over all of those infamous memoirs like "inspirational" A Million Little Pieces or the Holocaust Hoax memoir Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years
My first review of this book was written on Jan 22 after I heard of it from NPR, the very first negative 1 star review for this book. That review started with only 4 lines, then expended into 30 pages word document with about 70 pages comments followed it, probably has become the longest book review in amazon's history. It turned into a drama and history records for this battle for the truth, recorded what happened between Jan 22 and Feb 15 (see ref 4, the major timeline for this controversy is in ref 8), with 1400+ out of 1500+ people found my review helpful. Eventually it was killed by Amazon on Feb 16, due to its "visually distractiveness" and violation of Amazon's guidelines. So I have to start all over again from ground zero. Let's see what is going to happen to this one.
In my first review, I gave it 1 star rating without much thinking, purely based on the untruthfulness of the book for a memoir. After past 4 weeks battle for the truth, I realize that my initial rating was wrong, very wrong. I should give it 5 star. Even the 5 star rating is too low for it.
1. This book has 274 pages. The very first sentence in the very first page is a lie, a big lie (proven, see reference 1-4). Page 269 is the last page which has something to do with her experiences in China. It is a lie too. Between page 1-page 269, almost everything related to China are lies. Not small, slip of memory or forgivable lies. They are all disgusting, outrageous and intentional lies. Many are proven (reference 1-4). For a memoir making up with this kind of pure lies to such extend, I have to give it 5 stars. Not for the memoir itself, but for two authors' audacity to lie.
2. The title of the book, Bend, Not break was said to represent some Chinese wisdom. The truth is, in Chinese language, we have an idiom NING ZHE BU WAN which means rather to break or be broken than to bend. We respect those who stand for their beliefs, principles, values and dignities to the degree that they prefer to be broken rather than bend. That is why the first reaction when many of us heard the book title was like, huh? She used that idiom wrong, should be the opposite. During the Cultural Revolution, many people committed suicide exactly because they didn't want to live a life that they couldn't be true to themselves. They choose the death instead of bending. This book and its title is an insult to those people.
A professor of Chinese history and philosophy from a US university vouched that "her story is a true reflection of what happened to some people in China during the Cultural Revolution". No, nothing in the book reflects the history of China, Chinese culture and Chinese people, nothing reflects the Cultural Revolution, nor the modern China.
For a book which bended Chinese history, culture and people to such extend, at the same time was valued by some people as representation of that, it deserves a 5 star rating, not the book, but the bending.
3. The book's scheme is riches to rags, then to riches again. It is an extremely good story line, two extreme riches with one extreme rags in between. It's very clever marketing scheme. This scheme alone is worth 5 stars.
From 11 days of age until 8 years old, she was raised by her extremely rich aunt and uncle in Shanghai. The truth is, she never lived with any rich people anywhere at all. The picture of the lonely house in the book that she lived in wasn't located in Shanghai (maybe in some foreign countries). Her family wasn't rich at all. Those childhood pictures(supposed to be taken when she lived in Shanghai with her rich aunt) she provided were taken in commercial photo studios. They probably didn't even own a camera to take pictures of her as a baby or as a little kid. So this fairy tale childhood is just her fantasies. "Rich" people in Shanghai back then didn't live that kind of life. Nothing in that part of her story reflected real Shanghai or China in that period of time. (see ref 3, 4)
The rag life part is also total fabrications. (many of the details have been proven to be lies, ref 2, 3, 4). The only possible truth is that she indeed lived in a university student dorm type of housing with her family. Universities in China provided housing for most of its faculty and staffs. Student dorm type of housing usually provided for staffs or junior faculties. Please remember, 40 years ago, China was very poor. Those student dorms were very similar to many old student dorms in the US structurally, but in a lot worse condition. Even that kind of housing was considered modern and luxury back then compare to the living condition of ordinary factory workers or rural peasants. The life she described there is total fabrication or distortion of the facts (ref 2-4).
Among her rags life story in China, what angered and disgusted me the most is her gang rape story. For the Confucius culture and traditions that valued a woman's virginity and purity as the highest virtue in the past, many rape victims had to commit suicide. But she dared to insult those victims with making up this kind of lies.
First, she gave two totally different versions of the gang rape story, one in the book, another during her numerous book promotion to the media. None of them could be true (ref 3,4). In additional to what I and xgz wrote in reference 3 and 4, just using google earth to take a look at that university campus (ref 6), one can easily see how far the cannel is from the campus and how deep the water is, how impossible for her in the dorm to hear other kids' shouting at the cannel bank, flied down the stairs, walked into the water and dragged her sister up.
Second, when it was pointed out by me that this is a lie (she followed the thread of my first review as early as Jan 24, and responded to my review and other people's comments 3 to 4 times), she still dared to repeat this lie in hope that this was very personal experience that no one can disprove that.
4. In the book and her many promotion interviews, she claim that she came to this country penniless, worked as babysitter waitress etc. to make a living and to pay for her schooling. But anybody familiar with international student fair would know that for a foreign student to be able to get the visa to enter the US, he/she has to have financial statement to prove that he/she have enough money for tuition, room and board. Claiming to be penniless now means she falsified those financial documents and broke the law.
For a person at her position and status (she is a member of President Obama's National Advisory Council), dared to publicize her past law breaking endeavor, I have to give her 5 stars for this.
5. Her lies aren't something difficult for people to find out. Anyone with a shred of knowledge about China between 1960 to 1984 could immediately tell her stories are fabrications. Anybody done some critical thinking and examination of her stories also can easily tell that things don't add up in her stories. Her lies are insult to human intelligence.
So the simplicity, naiveté and stupidity of her lies deserve a 5 star rating.
6. Facing mountain of evidence that she lied, some people still can find inspiration in her book, or defended her lies at all costs, there must be some mystery ingredients in the book that I couldn't figure out. I think those mystery ingredients deserve 5 stars.
7. For a newly published the book, the promotion and publicity exceeded the realm of my knowledge and experiences. That deserves a 5 star.
8. During author's numerous promotion TV, radio and newspaper interviews, she not only repeated those lies in the book, but dare to give many inconsistent or totally different versions of the stories, taking advantage and abusing the trust of innocent unsuspecting journalists. Even on her Jan 30 PBS interview when the controversy had already erupted, she still made up stories like raised chicken in her university dorm. Anybody ever lived in a university dorm in China or in the US would know how impossible to do that in that kind of setting, especially for an eight years old kid. I have to give this kind of boldness and abusing of innocent people's trust a 5star rating.
9. The smearing at the critics by the media is unseen of, exceeded my wildest imagination and ability to understand. We were labeled as "Chinese nationalist", "shills" of the Chinese government, "paid bloggers", internet "bullies", etc. without a shred of evidence. We were accused by Sir Harold Evans of the Daily Beast of having "two user names--20, a hundred--may conceal a single identity", while in fact that each user id has to be Amazon's customers and bought something from amazon before to be able to write reviews(see Amazon's guidelines for creating a review). This kind of attacks on book critics probably has never happened in human history, deserves millions stars (ref 7).
I highly recommend this book. For those who desperately need to find inspiration, they should buy the book for themselves. Others can just borrow it from the local libraries, or walk into a Barnes and Noble bookstore to take a look. But don't expect to find this highly promoted book in B&N's new book promotion area or biography area, it is in the business profile area together with those paperback books now.
on September 26, 2013
If I could give 0 star to this book, I would.
This memoir is full of contradictory fabrications mixed with high-minded talking. A lot of the stories in this book have been proven fake beyond doubt. Ping Fu herself had to retract quite a few major claims and correct quite a few "errors." Ping Fu has become so notorious in Chinese American communities that her name is synonymous with liar. Plug "Ping Fu" and "liar" into Google these days and the combo yields more than 6,300 hits.
Has any one ever heard of some one being kidnapped the first day upon arrival to America, being rescued by policemen but there is no police report? In this book it happened to Ping Fu (pages 5 - 8).
Has any one ever heard of any college teacher to insert fingers to the female students' vaginas to make sure they are not pregnant? Any country, any time? In this book it happened to Ping Fu (page 254).
Has any one ever heard of any one was quartered by 4 horses in last 100 years, anywhere in the world? In this book Ping Fu saw it in China (page 44).
Has any one ever heard that Sylvester Stallone grabbed a girl's rear end in a restaurant? In this book it happened to Ping Fu (page 60).
Excerpts from Ms. Ping Fu's memoir Bend Not Break, page 254 :
[At our school, officials would confirm that all female students were menstruating each month by checking their sanitary napkins. When they discovered that some women were cheating by bringing in their friends' soiled pads, the officials began inserting their fingers directly into our vaginas to check for blood.]
When I read this part I felt disgusted. Beside Ping Fu, I have never read from any one else who talked about college female students were finger checked, not in China, not in the whole world in history. How could she make up a disgusting story like this? It takes a very ugly soul to make up a story like this.
In February, 2013, Ping Fu changed her story, she said they were not official's fingers, but they were female students' own fingers:
[Through a misunderstanding with Ms. Fox, Ms. Fu said this was portrayed as the use of other people's fingers - an invasion of the woman's body.
Ms. Fox "wrote it wrong," she said. "I corrected it three times but it didn't get corrected." Women used their own finger to show blood, she said, but the mistake went into print anyway.
In general, Ms. Fox may have "just made some searches on the Internet that maybe weren't correct," Ms. Fu said.]
In June, 2013, Ping Fu's college classmates at Suzhou University expressed their anger over such non-existing event and humiliating story.
In July, 2013, Ping Fu changed her story again, this time she said finger checking happened to some women who had already given birth to a child, but not to the students at Suzhou University:
[非 法 怀 孕 检 查 只 针 对 已 经 生 育 过 的 妇 女，并 不 是 对 所 有 女 性。书 中 写 的 是 对 所 有 女 性，但 并 不 是 苏 州 大 学 学 生。]
How can any one recommend this book when its author made up disgusting stories, kept changing her stories or blaming her co-author searching the Internet for her stories?
Excerpts from Ms. Ping Fu's memoir Bend Not Break, pages 60-61 :
[Santa Fe was an artistic city, and many Hollywood stars had second homes there. Linda Evans, John Wayne, and Miles Davis all came to our restaurant. I didn't know who any of these people were, so my boss often assigned me to wait on them, knowing that I wouldn't get star struck or ask for autographs.
One night, a large, muscular man with dark hair and an asymmetrical face came into our restaurant. The boss told me to serve him.
I approached the table. "What would you like to drink?" I asked.
The man said nothing, but startled me by reaching around and grabbing my rear end with his enormous right hand. Without hesitating for a second, I slapped him on the cheek, hard. Then I gasped. What had I done? Surely the boss would fire me for such insolent behavior.
The man sat quietly for a heartbeat, staring me straight in the eyes. Then he laughed and said: "Do it again".
I raced back to the kitchen, still convinced, with my Chinese mentality, that I would lose my job. But everyone who had witnessed the event was cheering. "Ping, you slapped Rambo!" they squealed with delight. Even the boss, who had followed me to the back room, was chuckling. The customer, they told me, was Sylvester Stallone, a famous action hero.]
Do you agree this story was fabricated? As far as I know, John Wayne died in 1979, five years before Ping Fu arrived in America. Sylvester Stallone is not "a large, muscular man with dark hair and an asymmetrical face". He does not have "enormous right hand" either. Many other Ping Fu's stories, such as being starved, being deported by China government, being finger checked for pregnancy, being kidnapped the first day upon arrival in America ... , are just as preposterous as this one.
Some classmates of Ms. Ping Fu at Soochow University said she was a smart girl who writes novels well, but please don't claim a novel to be her real life memoir.
Except from pages 148 - 149, Bend Not Break:
[When my colleagues and I had finished making our first piece of metal mirror smooth, I caught sight in it of a perfect reflection of my face. We didn't have mirrors at home or around the dormitory -- Mao's Communism discouraged concern with one's physical appearance. This was the first reflection of myself that I had seen in a mirror in years. I was surprised that I
looked all grown up. I recalled the well in the courtyard of my Shanghai family's home where I had gazed at myself before I was taken away. .... an unfinished child who had transformed into a proud and capable worker as an adult]
When I read this part, I had to stop, I could not stand it. She claimed she was taken away from Shanghai at 8 years old, now she is 18, for 10 years she did not take a look of her own face. Wow!
I don't want to argue that Nanjing is one of the top 10 most prosperous cities in China that it would not be hard to find a mirror outside of home. I don't want to argue that why she couldn't afford a mirror but she had a bike at the same time (back then in China owning a bike is like today in America owning a BMW car, but a small mirror only cost a few cents). I don't want to argue that why she did not take a look of herself when she visited her friend's home...... Just look at the photos in her book. There are three photos which were taken between her 8 to 18 years old. How could she not see her own face for 10 YEARS?!
Many people have already read or heard that Ms. Ping Fu did not go to school from 8 to 18 years old, which is a lie. Here she even did not see her own face for 10 years, but she kept teenager age photos. Do you believe that? I don't.
Some people may like this memoir as it contains a lot of high-minded inspirational talking, as Ping Fu portrayed herself as a victim of cruelty and adversity who showed enormous resilience and survived by sheer means of her humbleness and unbreakable spirit. But the truth is she fabricated these touching stories to gain fame and financial benefit. After reading both of her English and Chinese memoirs, her 4 resumes, and Suzhou (Soochow) University's disclosure of her student registration form (including her own handwritten statement that she joined the Communist Youth League in 1973), it is easy to see there are many contradictions and fabrications . Here is an incomplete list:
- Some stories in this book didn't happen, such as a teacher being quartered by 4 horses. Ping Fu said it was her emotional memory.
- Finger checking on college female students: in this book it was by Suzhou University officials' fingers. In February 2013 Ping Fu blamed her ghostwriter Meimei Fox for getting it wrong, and said what she meant was it was done by the students' own fingers. In July 2013 she admitted that the finger-checking practice didn't happen on college campus.
- In this book (page 255) she completed her college thesis, which embarrassed the Chinese government and she was arrested. In Feb, 2013, Ping Fu admitted she didn't write a college thesis.
- In this book Ping Fu was kidnapped in Albuquerque the first day she arrived in America and was locked up for 3 days. In her Chinese memoir she had a dinner with her first boyfriend Kelly on the third day of arrival to America. Albuquerque Police Department does not have any record related to this kidnapping incident even though it allegedly involved 3 little children.
- In this book she didn't graduate from Suzhou University, but in her resumes which were submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF, a government agency), she earned a BA or a Master's degree from Suzhou University. (Suzhou University confirmed that she did not graduate).
- In this book Ping Fu was arrested in 1982 and imprisoned for 3 days, after that she was under house arrest and was asked to leave China. But in her resumes, she graduated from Suzhou University, and then worked at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics as a lecturer from 1982 - 1983.
- In this book Ping Fu's marriage to Dr. Herbert Edelsbrunner was her only marriage, but in February 2013 she admitted to NYT reporter Didi Tatlow that she got green card from her first marriage with Richard Lynn Ewald from 1986 - 1989.
- In this book Ping Fu suffered a lot in China. In her Chinese memoir she had a happy childhood in China, but suffered a lot in America.
- In this book Ping Fu worked in a restaurant in Santa Fe where John Wayne also visited as a customer at that time, but in reality John Wayne died 5 years before Ping Fu came to America in 1984.
- In this book Ping Fu described Sylvester Stallone as "a large, muscular man with dark hair and an asymmetrical face,"who grabbed her rear end with his enormous right hand, but in reality Stallone is not large, he does not have enormous right hand either.
- In this book Ping Fu didn't see herself for 10 years from 8 to 18, but she included photos during that time in the book.
- In this book Ping Fu couldn't afford a mirror for 10 years, but she had a bike at the same time, which was a luxury item at that time.
- In this book Lane Sharman's company was acquired by AT&T, but Mr. Lane Sharman said his company was never acquired by AT&T.
- In this book Ping Fu said she did graduate studies at UNM, but UNM said she only did undergraduate studies there.
Below is what Suzhou University has disclosed:
In June 2013, Soochow (Suzhou) University released Ping Fu's student file, which revealed the the following:
(1) According to Ping Fu's student registration card which she filled in her own handwriting, Ping Fu had a complete middle/high school education. She graduated from Middle School in 1973. She graduated from the Nanjing Guanghuamen High School in July 1976. (Note: In her book Bend Not Break, Ms. Ping Fu wrote that she worked in factory from 8 to 18 years old, never went to school during those 10 years.)
(2) Also according to Ms. Ping Fu's student registration card which she filled in her own handwriting, Ms. Ping Fu joined the Communist Youth League in 1973. (Note: the political ladder at that time in China was: Little Red Soldier, Red Guard, member of the Communist Youth League, member of the Communist Party. But in Ms. Ping Fu's Bend Not Break she wrote that she suffered miserably because she was a "black element." This is like a Nazi soldier claimed she suffered more than Jewish people during Holocaust.)
(3) Still according to Ms. Ping Fu's student registration card which she filled in her own handwriting, Ms. Ping Fu worked in Nanjing Radio Equipment Manufacture only for one year after she graduated from high school.
(4) Ms. Ping Fu took two years of college English and received good grades. (Note: In her book Bend Not Break she wrote she only knew 3 English words when she arrived in America in 1984.)
(5) Ms. Ping Fu was never arrested for any reason while she was at Soochow University.
(6) Ms. Ping Fu withdrew from Soochow University on Mar 16, 1982.
Four of Ping Fu's resumes were obtained by the critics of Ping Fu through FOIA. They were used to apply a job at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) or taxpayer funded government NSF grants. Every version of her resumes includes her fabricated education credentials or working experience, and they conflict with each other in timing. Here is an incomplete list of the problems of her resumes.
- Ping Fu did not receive any degree from Suzhou University, but she listed BA and MA degrees from Suzhou University in her resumes.
- Her working as lecturer at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1982 - 1983 could not possibly be true, as NUAA is a semi-military college, and lecturer is a formal title in China which requires at least a Bachelor degree and formal approval process. Since Ping Fu did not graduate from college, it is impossible for her to be a lecturer at the prestigious college NUAA. (In Bend Not Break, she was under house arrest after being released from a jail during that time.)
- From April 1991 - August 1994, Ping Fu was a Visiting Research Programmer at NCSA, and she was not a Senior Research Programmer.
- Ping Fu's Technical Programming Manager position did not start from April, 1991. Actually this title was given to Ping Fu in 1996.
- It is impossible for Ping Fu to work as a Software Consultant at Resource Systems Group in San Diego starting in May 1984. (UNM stated Ping Fu enrolled as a full time student from Jan. 1984 - June 1986. Ping Fu arrived America in Jan. 1984 and enrolled in English as second language program at UNM. But in her resume she started to work in San Diego for Resource Systems Group in May 1984.)
With these four resumes, the timing of Ping Fu's working experience with Resource Systems Group changed as follows:
- In her 1992 resume: from July 1986 - June 1988
- In her 1997 resume: from May 1985 - June 1988
- In her 1999 resume: from May 1984 - June 1988
- In her 1991 resume: Ping Fu was doing TA at UNM, from 1985 - 1986 (she worked in two different states at the same time while on student Visa.)
Ping Fu has 3 versions of her story regarding Suzhou University:
- In Bend Not Break, no degree from Suzhou University was obtained.
- In her 1991 resume, BA from Suzhou University, China in March, 1982.
- In her 1999 resume, MA from Suzhou University, China in March, 1982.
Suzhou University published her school record showing that she withdrew from that school on March 16, 1982 without any degree earned. But in each of her 4 resumes, she put either BA or MA degree. Using falsified resumes to apply for government jobs or grants is not just a lie, it is a crime. Because of the statute of limitation, we tax payers probably could not do anything about her criminal act, but this kind of behavior should be condemned.
There are also a lot of fabrications in Ping Fu's online profiles. It would take a book to list all the contradictions (lies) of her different versions of stories.
If anyone still wants to read this book, read it as a fiction. It is not a memoir.
on January 29, 2013
There is a very logical explanation of the two extremely opposite reviews of this book. It's what your mother tells you - If something looks too good to be true, it ain't.
Taken at face value, the book is truly inspirational. The author's life experience is a triumph of human spirit in spite of overwhelming odds and adversities against her. It is simply out of this world.
The sad truth is - it is. The stories are more than perfect because the author is not inconvenienced by fact or historic accuracy. She made up most, if not all, her stories for sensationalism and self-promotion. China was brutally dark and oppressive during the Culture Revolution, but what the author described plainly had no credibility with people who had lived through the period.
This is why people are speaking out and where the lowest ratings come from. Tragedy and suffering are not pretense for personal gain, especially when they are false. Sympathy and admiration are to be heart-felt, not manipulated.
Readers might be taken aback by the ferocity of negative comments here at Amazon. It's easy to dismiss the author's inconsistencies as inconsequential to her message. The wave of negative comments surely is living proof of her purported indomitable resilience. Conspiracy theorists are certain all the naysayers are secret Chinese government agents.
Quite the contrary, there is a very important distinction between questioning the truthfulness of the author and covering up the sins of the Culture Revolution and the Chinese government. Although the author deliberately and disingenuously denies the difference, her critics have universally condemned the Culture Revolution.
The objection is squarely directed at the author's personal exploitation of the Culture Revolution and manipulation of truth. The details are significant as they place the integrity of the author at stake. Her integrity and credibility are all the more important in the context of her inspiring stories. Without such, her message rings hollow, if not fraudulent; her vested (commercial and personal) interest at risk. That's why whether she was a "Red Guard" is particularly critical (prosecutor vs. prosecuted). That's why her story of "jailed" and "deported" (which she retracted after scrutiny) is so outlandish.
People are rightfully outraged because the author's insincerity undermines the calamity of the Culture Revolution a generation of Chinese suffered through. She takes advantage of people's trust and makes a mockery of their compassion.
on January 29, 2013
If you want to see how a human being can make a lie to the extreme, for example, writing a book about herself from the beginning to the end, please read this book. It definately shows the inteligence of the author, however, the inteligence on how to lie about her own life and finally since the lie is so true, she believed all the crap herself.
To be frank, I was born in China after Cultrul Revolution and I gained my knowledge on that period from books and my parent's experience. This book's story was contradict in every way I learned. Is that because Ms Ping (the author) simply told the truth and I was brain-washed? No. In contrast, she is just simply brain-washed by her own lie.
I don't want want to go depth to show all the facts since there is an excellent review which shows Ms. Ping's story in the book just COUND NOT happen in China. I just wanted to emphasize that she came to US in 1982 after she graduated from colledge. According to her own story, she was sent to US as a punishment because she critisized the Chinese government and gained national recognition. I could not think a better way to "punish" a Chinese citizen by expelling her to US and surprizingly US goverment accepted her. I did not know who reviewed this case as an immigration officer and apparently the person did not do his/her duty. From this amazing make-up story, Ms Ping showed her great talent on lieing beyond my imagination.