List of Ping Fu's lies (including fabrications), contradictions, exaggerations, omissions, factual errors, and potentially illegal conduct


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Initial post: Mar 15, 2013 1:46:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 12, 2013 4:19:38 PM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Participants of the grassroots truth seeking campaign, together with a handful of investigative reporters, have revealed abundant evidence that Ping Fu lied, fabricated and exaggerated in her so-called memoir Bend Not Break. I venture to start a systematic list of all the findings here. The list is primarily focused on the book, not her interviews. It is constructed in such a way that each piece of evidence can be cited and used individually.

I plan to use the following categories:
- Lies (confirmed lies and fabrications)
- Self-contradictions (lies proven by logical reasoning)
- Exaggerations (soft lies)
- Omissions (a smart way of lying)
- Moral and legal questions
- Doesn't sound true (likely lies)
- Factual errors
- Reviewer Lao Lang's list of errors in the book
(http://www.amazon.com/fabrications-contradictions-exaggerations-omissions-potentially/forum/Fx1M49LYP8YZYQ4/Tx21KQ7X2LLXAY8/1/ref=cm_cd_pg_oldest?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1591845521&cdSort=newest)

Acknowledgement
Bloggers and reporters:
Zhouzi (Shimin) Fang, Tania Branigan (The Guardian), Ed Pilkington (The Guardian)
xgz (Daily Kos blogger), Didi Kirsten Tatlow (NY Times), Jenna Goudreau (Forbes)
Eddie Cheng (http://debunkingbendnotbreak.com/)
Amazon reviewers:
lin, Ben Locke, kitty, Romantic Realist (Albert Wang), Lanlan Wang, H.Chen, Jean Z., silkskirt, Liangfu Wu
Lao Lang, wil

Quotations or summaries from the book are marked with [ ... ] with page numbers for clarity.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:46:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 9:11:36 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Lies

1. Ping Fu lied about her enrollment in a computer science Master's degree program at the U of New Mexico.
Fu wrote, [After completing the English as a foreign language course in a year, I was able to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and enroll as a full-time graduate student at UNM. ... I was accepted as a computer science master's student even though I had no prior course work in the subject. p 61-62.]

Amazon.com reviewer "Romantic Realist" checked with the University of New Mexico (Admissions Office, (505) 277-8900) regarding Fu's academic record and was informed that Fu "was enrolled as an undergraduate student with a major in computer science, from September 1984 to July 1986." (http://www.amazon.com/Wikipedia-Your-truth-True-False/forum/Fx1M49LYP8YZYQ4/Tx2N4CQVCPNOMN2/2/ref=cm_cd_search_res_rm?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1591845521&cdSort=oldest#Mx1CD4B8KP6O106)

There are other telling signs that she was an undergraduate. Fu wrote, [Calculus class was mandatory. page 62]. Calculus is clearly an undergraduate course oftentimes for freshman year. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is required by most, if not all, graduate programs (both master's and doctorate) in the US, as is required by the U of New Mexico (http://www.cs.unm.edu/academics/prospective_graduate_students/admissions/). GRE is required of both domestic and international students and is much more challenging than TOEFL, a test of basic English proficiency only required of international students. Writing about TOEFL, but not GRE, is a clear sign that Fu didn't get into a master's program at UNM.

It is difficult to believe that a graduate program at an esteemed American university would admit someone who knew only 3 English phrases before taking a year of English as a second language classes, and who didn't know fractions.

2. Ping Fu lied about being kidnapped on her arrival in Albuquerque in January 1984.
[Summary: Fu told a story in which she was kidnapped on her arrival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Despite her allegedly poor English and empty pocket, no arrangement had been made for someone to pick her up from the airport. A Chinese Vietnamese man, believed to be a refugee in the States, offered her a free ride but ended up abducting her to his home in an apartment building. He locked her in with his three small kids but little food and left for work. She cried "help" through barred windows. But it was not until the third day when a neighbor finally heard her and called the police. After being rescued by the police, she refused to press any charges. Neither the kids nor the kidnapper were ever mentioned again. p 4-9.]

Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times contacted the Albuquerque Police Department for verification. Tatlow wrote, "A spokeswoman at the Albuquerque Police Department's Records Office, where the alleged kidnapping took place, said she could not locate such an incident in their records." (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/) There is no police record for the alleged 911 call, nor the kidnapping, nor child neglect, nor arrest of the suspect.

Amazon.com reviewer "Romantic Realist" independently checked with Albuquerque PD and received similar response from officer David L. Torres, "APD Records does not have any incident of a kidnapping for the individual referred to on your request."

In Fu's first book published in China in 1996 under the title Piao Liu Ping (translation: The Floating Bottle), she wrote about having dinner with Kelly, a neighbor in Nanjing and future boyfriend, on the 3rd day after her arrival in Albuquerque. No kidnapping was mentioned in that book.

There are also numerous details in her description of the kidnapping that don't sound true. Fu wrote, [I heard him (the kidnapper) lock the front door from the outside with a padlock. p 6.] How many apartment doors can be locked easily from outside with a padlock? [Through an open barred window, I began shouting one of the few English words I knew: "Help." ... But the passersby - and there weren't many - did nothing. p 8.]. Isn't that strange? And nobody responded in two days? And then there is the question what happened to her luggage.

3. Ping Fu lied about witnessing a teacher being killed by the Red Guards using four horses (and horsemen).
Fu wrote, [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. p 44.]

After being challenged, Fu admitted that the execution by horses scene never happened. She wrote in her blog, "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." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ping-fu/clarifying-the-facts-in-bend-not-break_b_2603405.html)

So Fu took something out of her childhood bad dreams (if we can believe her this time), and put it in the book as something she witnessed.

4. Ping Fu lied about a literary society and its magazine she organized in college, that eventually got her into trouble with the Chinese authority.
[Summary: Halfway through her first semester (1978-79), Ping Fu and her friends formed a group called the Red Maple Society and started to publish a literary magazine composed of their essays, poems, and articles about local events. Over the next year and a half, their magazine grew popular, with a readership reaching other cities and universities. Their professors endorsed them, and the university itself printed the magazine. Toward the end of her second year at school, the group was invited to attend a conference in Beijing with publishers of literary magazines from ten other universities. They prepared a special issue for the meeting with a daring article critical toward the communist party. The meeting was called off by the government. But somehow, Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China, decided to meet the representatives. EVERY student representative who met Deng had a copy of Fu's magazine in hand. Deng asked to see it and afterward said, "A Communist member questions his own party?" Although Deng said nothing more, Suzhou University officials deemed the group an illegal underground society, arrested and interrogated all of its members, including Fu, who was given a black, bad mark in her personal file. p 250-253.]

Tania Branigan and Ed Pilkington of the Guardian interviewed experts in the field about this issue. They wrote, "Perry Link, an expert on modern Chinese literature at the University of California at Riverside, said student magazine representatives met in 1979, but added: 'I do not believe for a moment that Deng Xiaoping ever came near the group.' Neither he nor others knows of a representative from Fu's group, Red Maple, attending. Fu said she believed the article was selected for This Generation, the joint publication from the meeting, but Link's copy shows it is not included.
Yinghong Cheng, now a professor of history at Delaware state university, studied at the same time and in the same building at Suzhou as Fu, and had his own literary group. He told the Guardian: 'I am completely unaware of that group (Red Maple) and publication, and if it had been that popular I would have known about it.'
Fu, who supplied a copy of her magazine, said her contemporaries might not have heard of the society because it was underground. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/13/ping-fu-controversy-china-cultural-revolution)"

Fu's explanation makes no sense, since the society was quite above the ground and popular for one and half year according her own words. [... our professors endorsed us, and the university itself printed the magazine. p 250.] It is also odd that the "university officials", not the police, were the ones to arrest and interrogate all the student members of her group, without any specific instructions from the government except Deng's ambiguous sentence.

Recently, Didi Kirsten Tatlow of New York Times wrote, "And in an e-mail to me, she (Fu) admitted she made mistakes about a magazine she said she helped edit, called Wugou, or 'No Hook,' produced in 1979 by students at her college, then called the Jiangsu Teacher's College (later it changed its name to Suzhou University, she said.) It was not that magazine but another one, This Generation, that was taken to a meeting in Beijing of student magazine writers from around the country, she wrote in the e-mail. (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/)" How could she not get the name right for a magazine she allegedly worked on for more than a year and still has a copy?


5. Ping Fu lied about school officials inserting fingers into female students' vaginae to confirm their menstruation.
Fu wrote, [But as China's population burgeoned, Deng Xiaoping's newly formed government reversed course and, in 1979, started enforcing its now infamous "one family, one child" rule. ... 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. p 254.]

This is one of Fu's most outrageous lies. First, why would the school check ALL female students indiscriminately? It is ONE-child policy, not NO-child policy. Wouldn't checking married female students with at least one child make more sense? Second, was it necessary to check for blood? Back in the 80s, students in Chinese colleges lived in dorms, with usually six to eight people living in one room with bunk beds, and they took bath in university bath houses. With such little privacy, can someone really hide her pregnancy? Third, there has not been a single account of this invasive school policy anywhere besides Ping Fu's.

Fu recently talked to Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times about this. "Through a misunderstanding with Ms. Fox (Fu's co-author of the book), 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." (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/#postComment)

Despite throwing her co-author under the bus, a lie is still a lie.


6. Ping Fu lied about being deported by the Chinese government.
Fu wrote, [A few weeks after the house arrest began, I was called to the local police station and given my government orders. "You must leave China at once. You are not welcome back," a stiff-lipped officer told me. p 258.] [When I was twenty-five years old, the Chinese government quietly deported me. I was terrified to leave my home land. But the alternative was exile to a remote place in China - or worse. On January 12, 1984, my parents, aunts, and uncles, cousins, and siblings gathered at the Shanghai International Airport to send me off for my flight to San Francisco. p 1.]

For a "deportation", it is surprising that she was accompanied by her loved ones rather than authorities at the airport. Her family also threw her a farewell banquet the night before (see photo in the book), which looks more like a celebration.

Fu wrote that later in 1993, [As soon as I had a U.S. passport, I booked my first trip back home. p 107.] There was no mentioning of any trouble for her to get a visa to visit China. Most visa application forms have a question alone the line: Have you ever been denied entry or deported before? Wonder what Fu's answer was.

Jenna Goudreau of the Forbes asked Fu to address why there was no official record of her deportation. Goudreau wrote, " 'In the beginning of the book I said the Chinese government quietly deported me,' she (Fu) says. In fact, it is the first line. 'We could say that was a literary interpretation. I was asked to leave. My father helped me to find a visa to the US. I was told not to talk about it or to file for political asylum. My interpretation was I involuntary left China .... If someone wants to say this is not deportation, fine. That's my interpretation.' " (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/01/31/bend-not-break-author-ping-fu-responds-to-backlash/)

It is now just a "literary interpretation".

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:46:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 9:24:03 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Lies (continued)

7. Ping Fu lied about her college thesis on infanticide triggering a chain reaction leading to UN sanction of China, her arrest and deportation. (This is the backbone lie of the book.)

<Exposition> Fu wrote, [During my senior year, I selected a somewhat obscure research topic for my thesis: China's one-child policy. p 253.] [At our school, officials would confirm that all female students were menstruating each month ... the officials began inserting their fingers directly into our vaginas to check for blood. The degrading practice made me wonder how the rest of China was responding to the one-child policy. Uncle W gave me his blessing, saying this sounded like a powerful humanitarian topic. Even the Communist Party leader at my school approved. p 254.]

Since the "period police" story turns out to be a lie, what was the real reason for a Chinese Literature major to write a thesis on a sensitive social issue? And since she allegedly had received the as-bad-as-it-can-get 'Four Anti' label in her personal file due to her alleged involvement in the Red Maple Society, why would the party leader at her school bend over backward to approve her proposal?

<Rising action> Fu wrote, [I spent a few months traveling around the Chinese countryside conducting research. I interviewed doctors and midwives, as well as farmers and government officials. ... I witnessed the horrifying consequences with my own eyes: female infants drowned in rivers and lakes ... I didn't think there was any way I could help ... p 254.]

Infanticide is a universal crime, in China and everywhere else. It is hard to imagine people would commit such a crime in front of strangers. It is even more difficult to imagine that a descent human being would do nothing after WITNESSING one atrocious crime like that. Did Fu try to at least report to the police, or try to save some babies by helping to arrange for their adoptions?

<Climax> Fu wrote, [When I completed my thesis in the spring of 1982, ... Unbeknownst to me, someone in my department sent a copy of my thesis to the Chinese press. My findings wound up as the editor's comment in the Shanghai newspaper, which called for an end to the madness. The editorial comment was then picked up by China's national paper, the People's Daily in Beijing. It was the first time a Chinese official newspaper acknowledged that peasants were killing baby girls. The news spread to the international press, who used this acknowledgment as evidence of China's violations of human rights, prompting cries from the UN for economic sanctions. I unwittingly had set off a chain of events that, like toppling dominoes, resulted in a worldwide shaming of my country and its new leadership. p 255.]

Dr. Zhouzi Fang searched the archives of People's Daily for that period but couldn't find any report on female infanticide in rural China. Fu tried to explain in her blog, "I remember reading an editorial in a newspaper in 1982 that called for gender equality. It was not a news article and not written by me, and I didn't know it had anything to do with my research (pp. 253-255). When writing the book, I did not name the paper, since I wasn't certain. However, I think that is where I read the editorial because it was the most popular and official newspaper." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ping-fu/clarifying-the-facts-in-bend-not-break_b_2603405.html) Does her explanation make any sense? Is it even coherent? Is this gender equality editorial, with nothing to do with her alleged thesis, the weakest link in her so-called "chain of events"? It gets worse.

Regarding the UN sanction story, Fu tried to explain in her blog, "I heard about the sanctions in China while awaiting my passport. I was told that the UN was unhappy about this issue. A quick web search shows that the American-based journalist Steven W. Mosher wrote about female infanticide in China in 1981. His book, called Broken Earth, was published in 1983 -- the same year I was waiting for my passport. Knowing this, it makes sense that I was asked to leave quietly. Anything else would have drawn more attention to the issue. 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." George W. Bush (the son) became president in 2001 (his father G. H. Bush was president 1989-1993). How is the timeline consistent with whatever happened to Ping Fu in the fall of 1982 (see below)?

<Falling action> [Summary: One day in the fall of 1982, Fu was arrested on campus in a secretive manner. She was transported to a place hours of drive away from Suzhou and thrown into a dark cell for three days. Then she was told to go home and wait for further instructions. The policeman who drove her to her Nanjing home told her that she "had brought shame" to China because of her research on female infanticide and was traced as the source of the embarrassment. But miraculously, no one had been able to find any evidence that she had done anything wrong. p 255-257.]

So bringing shame and embarrassment to China was considered nothing wrong? Is there anything that is not confusing in this drama?

<Resolution> Fu wrote, [I stayed inside for weeks as my family tried to figure out some way of helping me. They had several contacts outside of China. ... an Australian friend to sponsor me for a student visa ... One of Nanjing Father's former NUAA student ... at the University of New Mexico ... would secure my admission ... A few weeks after the house arrest began, I was called to the local police station and given my government orders. "You must leave China at once. You are not welcome back," ..."Don't embarrass your country again." ... "We know where your family lives." ... I was happy to know that my family had begun to make arrangements for me to live overseas. p 258.]

At this point, it is really hard to tell if the so-call deportation order was a blessing or a punishment. What would Fu and her family do after making all those arrangements for her to come to the US had the Chinese government not asked her to leave?

8. Ping Fu lied about getting into university in 1977, on her first attempt in China's first university entrance exams after the Cultural Revolution.
Fu wrote, [... in the spring of 1977, China held its first university entrance exams since 1966. Competition was fierce ... I heard that out of every ten thousand applicants, only one was accepted to a university. ... I raced to view the public bulletin board where the results were posted a few months after the test. I had done it! p 231.] [UNIVERSITY: 1977 - 1982. p 248.]

But Fu retracted recently in her blog, "I took the college entrance exams in 1977 and 1978, and was admitted in 1978." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ping-fu/clarifying-the-facts-in-bend-not-break_b_2603405.html)

No Chinese would make an unintentional mistake regarding whether he/she took one college entrance exam to get into college or had to come back for another try the year after. With the type of hard work prior to the exams, the expectation, the disappointment or joy that followed, the memory simply is too strong to forget.

There are also two factual errors in Fu's account. The first exam after the CR was held in November 1977, not "the spring of 1977" as Fu wrote. About 1 in 20 applicants were admitted that year (about 0.3 million admitted out of 5.7 million applicants). Fu's one "out of every ten thousand" story blew things out of proportion. It sounds like another of Fu's self promotion attempts.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:46:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 12:32:15 PM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Self-contradictions

1. Ping Fu never mentioned her Shanghai adoptive family in her 1996 book published in China.
Fu wrote, [In Hong Kong, a Chinese publisher asked me to write a book in Chinese about my first ten years in America. ... By 1994, I had accumulated enough notes to turn in a manuscript, and my first book was published in China. p 131.] Indeed, her book was published in 1996 by Hubei Children's Publishing House under the title Piao Liu Ping (translation: The Floating Bottle, http://find.nlc.gov.cn/search/showDocDetails?docId=8553630059355238704&dataSource=ucs01&query=%E6%BC%82%E6%B5%81%E7%93%B6%2F%E6%97%85%E7%BE%8E).

In her Chinese book, many contradictions have been found when compared to her 2012 book, Bend Not Break, written in English for readers in the U.S. In her Chinese book, she wrote that she was brought up on a university campus in Nanjing. There was no mentioning of her 'adoptive family' in Shanghai, where she allegedly grew up until the age of 8 according to her 2012 English book.

There are other telling signs. When writing about her first flight from China to the States in her 2012 English book, she wrote, [The farthest I had been from Nanjing, the city of my birth, was Suzhou University, where I had studied journalism and literature. p 3.] But it doesn't make any sense had she lived in Shanghai for many years, since Suzhou is a city BETWEEN Nanjing and Shanghai. (http://goo.gl/maps/Nauvf)

2. Ping Fu claimed to speak only three English phrases when she first arrived in the States.
Ping Fu wrote that on her flight from China to the States in 1984, [I didn't understand her (an American flight attendant) since I knew how to say only "Hello," "Thank you," and "Help," p 3.]

But Fu then wrote that after her arrival in Albuquerque in the same trip, [I called him (a family friend) collect several times, but the phone rang endlessly. p 4.] To make a collect call, one has to speak to an operator or follow recorded instructions in English. How could she do it with only three English phrases?

She wrote, [One of Nanjing Father's former NUAA students had left two years prior to study at the University of New Mexico, and it was he who would secure my admission to the school as an ESL student. p 258.] And [I traveled to Shanghai, where I was able to get my U.S. student visa at the American consulate without any difficulty. p 260.] Did UNM require any English proficiency from their international students? Did US visa officers in Shanghai check that she knew enough English to study at a US university? Three English phrases wouldn't have made it by any standard.

Fu wrote, [After completing the English as a foreign language course in a year, I was able to pass the TOEFL (...) and enroll as a full-time graduate student at UNM. p 61.] ESL classes at universities are aimed to help international students to improve their communication skills, not to teach them English from ground up. It would take a language genius to learn in one year enough English to get into a graduate program.

There was more than one year from when Ping Fu dropped out of college in 1982 to her arrival in the States in 1984. Did she try to learn some English knowing she was coming to the States to study? Only 3 phrases? So she cannot be a language genius.

Interestingly, in her book published in China in 1996 (Piao Liu Ping, translation: The Floating Bottle), she mentioned learning by heart "900 Sentences in English", a popular English textbook in China in the 80s, before coming to the States (p 7 of her 1996 book).

What's also puzzling is that English courses were widely offered and often required in Chinese universities in the 80s. How did Ping Fu go through a 4-year college with almost no exposure to English? In fact, an Amazon reviewer "Lanlan Wang" checked with Suzhou University and received a letter stating that "English is a required subject for undergraduate students. Ping Fu received 'Excellent' mark for her freshman year (1978-1979); Ping Fu received '88%' for her sophomore year (1979-1980). Ping Fu scored above average during her two English final exams." (http://www.amazon.com/Suzhou-University-clarified-records-letter/forum/Fx1M49LYP8YZYQ4/Tx11YUXJWKYBB8X/1/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1591845521)

Another truth-telling moment is when Ping Fu wrote about her later husband Herbert playing Bob Dylan's album Desire for her. Fu wrote, [It included a song, "One More Cup of Coffee," that my favorite teacher had played many times in class during college - and it was the only English-language song that I had carried with me in my head from China to America. p 98.] What class (back in China) could it be if not English?

This '3-English phrases' story has appeared to be irresistible to many of Ping Fu's interviewers. But Fu couldn't recite these 3 phrases consistently. They are 'hello', 'help', and 'thank you' in the book. In her NPR interview, they were 'thank you', 'help', 'EXCUSE ME'. And in her Inc. interview, 'thank you', 'help', 'PLEASE'. And she told DG Martin of NC Bookwatch they were 'help', 'thank you', 'SORRY'. It could be difficult to recall the exact phrases after 30 years. But from interview to interview? HELLO?! EXCUSE ME?! Oh, PLEASE!

3. Can life be that hard in the States in the 80s for Ping Fu and her sister, survivors of the Chinese Cultural Revolution?
Fu wrote, [Hong (Fu's younger sister) wrote to tell me that she was depressed without me and wanted to join me in the United States. By the time she arrived, eighteen months after I did, I had rented apartment, two jobs, a blue 1973 Opel, and a full academic load. I got her a job at a Chinese restaurant ... Hong hated America at first, and complained that I had failed to tell her the truth about how hard life was going to be. p 65.]

That's odd! Her sister can join the deported Fu on exile in the States just like that. And this sister complained about "how hard life was" in the States. Does this sound true coming from a girl who allegedly spent many years of her childhood away from her parents, with barely enough food and shelter, and often abused due to her "Black Elements" status?

Interestingly, in Ping Fu's book published in China in 1996, when she wrote about doing house cleaning work to support herself at the Univ of New Mexico, she also complained, "In China I was a daughter in a professor's family, loved by parents and was never mistreated like this. (translated from p 10-11 of her Chinese book, Piao Liu Ping, or The Floating Bottle.)" This contradicts what she described as an abused childhood in her 2012 English book.

4. Can a victim of the Red Guards ware a symbol of revolution and communist party just like them?
Fu wrote, [...after reading The Scarlet Letter, I yanked the red star off my moss green military cap and replaced it with a red A that I had fashioned from a piece of Hong's cloth. p 126.]

Recall that Fu described Mao's Red Guards earlier in the book. [They wore matching oversized moss green uniforms, red armbands, and olive-colored caps adorned with a simple red star. p 18.] So she dressed like them. If Ping Fu was really a black element and a victim of the Red Guards, would she be allowed to ware a green military cap with a red star on it, a symbol for revolution and the communist party? In a photo in the book, Ping Fu was shown smiling with a group of kids, some of whom were waring "Red Guards" arm bands, in front of a flag that read "The Red Guards Group" in Chinese. If she hung out with the Red Guards and dressed like them, could she at the same time be their victim the way she described in her book?

5. Why did Ping Fu drop out of one program at UNM to enroll in another at UCSD?
Ping Fu claimed that words from a professor led to her decision. [I was talking with one of my computer science professors at UNM, Henry Shapiro, one day over lunch. He felt that Chinese students shut themselves out of American life. "You guys come over here, get your master's degrees in two years, and then work in cubicles without ever knowing what you're missing in the outside world," he said.
"What should I do if I don't want to live a life like that?" I asked.
He replied, "Well, do an undergraduate degree. Mingle with the American students. Have you ever taken a class on the American Constitution? Learn more about this country and live the life of a typical American college student." ... "Go to a better school if you do that," he added.
Professor Shapiro could not have guessed that I would take his advice literally. p 65-66.]

However, she did exactly what she tried to escape from, "work in cubicles" while taking classes at UCSD.
[For the next two years, I answered calls in the middle of the night, ... By the time I graduated, I was earning close to eighty thousand dollars a year. p 68.] So the real reason could not have been to enjoy college life. What was it then?

6. Ping Fu's love life.
Fu wrote, [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. p 95.]
She further wrote, before describing her first encounter with Herbert Edelsbrunner in 1988, [...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. p 96.]

The above quotations are about her life in 1988. However, according to her later confession to Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times, " 'I had a first marriage and that's how I got my green card,' she said by telephone. She married on Sept. 1, 1986 and divorced three years later. (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/#postComment)"

The contradiction in her own words begs the question: was her first marriage based on love or was it a sham marriage for green card?

7. Still about Ping Fu's love life.
In the book, Fu described herself as a conservative girl before she met later husband Herbert in 1988. She felt uncomfortable even dancing with a man. [One South American teacher held me so close to him while demonstrating the moves that I felt uncomfortable and requested a female teacher instead. ... perhaps I simply wasn't comfortable enough yet with my own sexuality to embrace the overt expression of it through dance. What finally transformed my personal life ... a romance. p 96.]

Recently, Didi Tatlow of the New York Times wrote, "Ms. Fu sent me a scanned copy of what she said was a letter from a fellow student, dated May 1982. He writes that college officials were saying that Ms. Fu had a nervous breakdown after being jilted. A classmate was named as the former boyfriend. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/world/asia/21iht-letter21.html?_r=0)" So, Ping Fu seemed to have a boyfriend in college in China (#1). This boyfriend could be the classmate Jin Lin she wrote about in the book, [my dearest friend and classmate, Jin Lin, ... I had to push Jin Lin away to spare us both the trouble that would have come from his romantic involvement with someone as black as I. p 252.]

In her book published in China in 1996 (Piao Liu Ping, translation: The Floating Bottle), she wrote about two men who she dated in Albuquerque: a Kelly (a neighbor from Nanjing) and a Richard (an American engineer) (p 37-59 of her 1996 Chinese book). So, there are boyfriend #2 and #3.

She also confessed to Didi about a 3-year marriage through which she got her green card. " 'I had a first marriage and that's how I got my green card,' she said by telephone. She married on Sept. 1, 1986 and divorced three years later. (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/#postComment)" Meet her husband #1.

Therefore, by 1988, Ping Fu had gone through 3 boyfriends and 1 husband, assuming no overlapping. The rest is history.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:47:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 31, 2013 11:39:41 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Doesn't sound true

1. The Red Guards killed a boy for pulling a prank using a cat.
Ping Fu wrote, [Later, they (the Red Guards) beat to death an older boy for a prank he had pulled involving a cat because the Chinese word for cat, mao, has the same pinyin spelling as Chairman Mao's name, differing only by a subtle tone change. p 44.]
This is hard to believe considering that cats, despite being a homophone of Mao's name, were never banned as pets during the Cultural Revolution in China.

2. Ping Fu's Shanghai father broadcast his love everyday.
Fu wrote, [Shanghai Papa ran a factory that made thread. When he came home at night, he would enter the front gate and call out, "Sweetheart, I'm home!" Shanghai Mama would come running, her footsteps quick and light. I liked to stick my head out from the second-floor balcony to spy on them in the courtyard below, hugging and kissing. p 11.]

From the picture of their mini mansion in Shanghai provided in the book, the 3-story house was quite big, and there was a distance from the front gate to the building. For the above-mentioned lovely scene to happen, Fu's adoptive father would have to shout out loud outside for his wife to hear him from inside the house. Not to mention people within half a block would be reminded of their love too. It is a bit too odd for this and the kissing in public to happen in China in those days.

3. The "spy" rendezvous scene where a policewoman helped Ping Fu got her passport.
Fu wrote, [Summary (p 258-260): After being told by a "stiff-lipped officer" to "leave China at once", Fu worried that when authorities "discover the black mark from my Red Maple Society activities at Suzhou University, that might very well be enough reason for them to deny me a passport." A moment later, a "beautiful young policewoman" showed up and explained that she was in charge of Fu's case. Fu explained her situation to this policewoman, who was moved into tears and said, "If you are willing to risk your life to save baby girls, the least I can do is help save yours." A week later, the policewoman arranged a rendezvous with Fu at a famous landmark in Nanjing, where she pulled several sheets of paper from Fu's personal record envelope, handed them to Fu, and said, "If the officials see these 'Four Anti' black marks in your file, they will never let you leave China. Hold on to them while I go get your passport issued." Fu felt lucky that "the policewoman had risked her life to help me get the necessary documents." Four hours later, the policewoman returned, put the paper back into Fu's personal file envelope and left.]

The whole scene isn't even coherent. First, if the policewoman was indeed in charge of Fu's case, why did another "stiff-lipped officer" tell Fu to leave China? And shouldn't she be familiar with Fu's personal records already? Second, isn't it expected that the police would put the so-called deportation decision into Fu's personal record? Whoever is in charge of issuing her passport would understand the situation and wouldn't cause any trouble. Third, if it was so dangerous for the policewoman to take the several sheets of paper temporarily out of Fu's personal record, wouldn't it make more sense for her to just hide the paper in a drawer, rather than carrying the record envelope in and out the police station and leaving the paper with Fu at a landmark location? Fourth, before the policewoman tearfully applauded Ping Fu for being "willing to risk life to save baby girls", shouldn't she inform Fu that infanticide is a crime, and had Fu reported to the police, they would have caught the perpetrators and served them justice?


4. Ping Fu was given to her aunt for adoption but her registered residence was still in Nanjing.
Ping Fu was told by her biological mother ("Nanjing Mama"), ["I asked Shanghai Mama to come to Nanjing and help during labor, then take you to live with her when you were eleven days old." p 120.]

But apparently no paperwork was done to make the adoption official. Her registered residence was still in Nanjing with her biological parents. At that time in China, food, as well as many groceries (e.g. soap) was rationed according to one's registered residence. It would have been very inconvenient for her to live in a place without registration. Even enrolling in local elementary school would be very difficult (she mentioned she was in 1st grade in 1966). Actually, when the Red Guards showed up in her Shanghai home to pick her up, all they wanted to do was to bring her back to Nanjing. ["We (the Red Guards) will take you to Nanjing. It is the city of your registry residence because you were born there." p 18.]

What a big letdown by her FOUR parents.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:47:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 31, 2013 11:35:19 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Exaggerations

1. Ping Fu claimed she didn't know fractions after going through college in China.
Ping Fu wrote about her study at U of New Mexico in 1985. [I had learned some math in an unstructured way throughout the years - from my older siblings in Shanghai, Nanjing Mother, older children at NUAA, counting money to manage my household, and doing calculations while working at factories during my teenage years. But when the professor put fractions on the chalkboard, I stared blankly at the strange notation, which I had not seen before. ... I placed my index finger on a fraction. "That. What does it mean when you put one number, then a slash, then another number under it?" p 62-63.]

However, she wrote that when China reopened its schools in 1976, she studied hard in preparation for college entrance exams. [I signed up for as many classes as I could fit into my schedule and studied day and night in a race against time. I quickly became known as "the girl who never turns off her lights." ... My mind was hyperstimulated by everything I was learning: math, physics, ... p 231.]

How could one study maths and physics for the Chinese equivalent of SAT without knowing fractions?

2. How much was her grandfather's gold nugget worth?
Fu wrote, [Summary (p 187-189): Ping Fu wrote that her grandfather started to sell his art collections to feed the family in the spring of 1966. He bought a gold nugget many years before from a blind musician playing on the street after the man begged him to buy it so that he could care for his family. "I (grandfather) probably paid far more than it was worth because I emptied out my pockets and gave the blind man all my cash. But it wasn't about the value of the gold". He went on to say "Tomorrow, I'll sell this nugget to a pawnshop for maybe seventy yuan - about one one-thousandth what I paid for it."]

First, it was surprising anybody would need to beg people to buy gold. Second, in 1966, there was no pawnshop in China. Third, if the gold nugget was worth more than 70,000 yuan in 1966, and the grandfather paid "far more than it was worth" many years ago using pocket money, how much money did he carry everyday back then? To help put things into perspective, a college graduate engineer would make 56 yuan per month in the 60s and 70s. Fourth, was eight-year old Ping Fu supposed to understand one-thousandth (a fraction)?

3. The privileged life of Ping Fu's 'adoptive' family in Shanghai.
Fu wrote, [...in the early 1960s ... Chairman Mao's most radical reforms had yet to fully penetrate China's most cosmopolitan city then; a Hong Kong tailor still made the Western suits that my brothers wore to school. p 10.] [she (Shanghai Mama) prepared the traditional dinners we enjoyed each night: four appetizers, one soup, and eight main courses. My favorite dish was crabmeat with ginkgo nuts in mint mango sauce. p 12.] [My nanny had even taken me on this very train to visit Nanjing a few times. p 22.]

From the family photos provided in the book, nothing stands out regarding the clothes of her Shanghai family (photo of baby Fu and 3 brothers, baby Fu and her two mothers). It is not clear whether the 'Hong Kong tailor" worked in Hong Kong or in Shanghai. Regardless, for kids to wear Western style suits to school in the 60s in China doesn't sound real. The 13-dishes dinner EACH night sounds like an exaggeration. In the photo showing her family gathering before Fu left for the States, a banquet on a special occasion for a table of adults, I counted 8 dishes. Fu mentioned having a nanny only once in this place. It sounds a bit odd that her Shanghai Mama was a housewife, hired at least one nanny, but still cooked for the family daily.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:47:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2013 8:56:24 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Omissions

1. Ping Fu omitted from her memoir a three-year marriage through which she allegedly got her green card.
Fu confessed this to Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times. ' "I had a first marriage and that's how I got my green card," she said by telephone. She married on Sept. 1, 1986 and divorced three years later.' (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/)

2. Ping Fu hid the truth that she quit from her PhD program and settled for an MS degree at UIUC, after receiving tuition assistance and paid hours through her employer's PhD assistance program.
[The company (Bell Labs) also offered to pay 60 percent of my salary, full tuition, and room and board if I pursued a PhD. page 69]
[through Bell Labs' PhD assistance program, I began taking graduate classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). page 96]
[In the fall of 1989, I went to Urbana-Champaign to sign papers for graduation and ... page 98]
As listed on Ping Fu's Wikipedia page, she has a MS from UIUC.

3. Ping Fu misled readers regarding her university and major placement without telling the truth about how college application worked in China.
Fu wrote, [My score was above the minimum required for acceptance. Although I had been asked to fill out a form listing my preferences, I had no choice of where or what I would study. Ultimately, the government would make the assignment. page 231]
[I was not accepted to an aerospace engineering program, even though all my life I had dreamed of being an astronaut. When the acceptance letter came in the fall of 1977, it said that I had been assigned to study literature at Suzhou University. Suzhou was a second-tier school, not as highly regarded as Beijing University of NUAA. page 232]

In China, students choose between two major categories before taking the university entrance exam (the Chinese equivalent of SAT): liberal arts (including literature, history, business, etc.), or science and engineering. Exam subjects and contents are different for these two categories. Had Fu really wanted to study aerospace engineering, she would have selected 'science and engineering' and would have no chance of getting assigned to study literature. While students submit a preference list of universities and majors, the final placement is merit-based, and is a decision made by universities, not the government. If Suzhou University and literature major were not Fu's choice, it meant she didn't make the cut for the schools and majors she preferred.

4. Ping Fu didn't explain why she still carried a family name from her biological father after the alleged adoption.
In China, married women keep their own family names. A child usually inherits the paternal family name, but some are given the maternal one. There are likely three family names involved in Fu's two sets of parents: a. 'Fu' (Nanjing, biological father); b. 'Tang' (Nanjing, biological mother and Shanghai, adoptive mother, who are sisters); c. XYZ (Shanghai, adoptive father, not disclosed). Unless XYZ happens to be 'Fu' (which is NOT a common family name in China), Ping Fu likely was carrying a family name different from that of her adoptive parents and siblings. It should have been a clear enough sign for an 8-year-old to suspect that she was adopted.

Although Fu mentioned, [But the truth of the matter was, there had been hints before that I'd been adopted. page 21], and listed two such hints (one her 'adoptive sister' calling herself the 'real sister' of their brothers' and hinting Fu not being a real sister; and the other her Shanghai Mama asking her to use 'Nanjing Mama' to call her aunt), she omitted this obvious one.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 1:47:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 1, 2013 8:24:36 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Moral and legal questions

1. Ping Fu seemed to have worked illegally off-campus on student visa while studying as a full-time student at the University of New Mexico.
In the book, Fu wrote extensively about her off-campus working experience from 1983 to 1986, when she was enrolled as a full-time student at the U of New Mexico. For example,
[When I asked around, people told me that I could earn more money as a waitress. But I didn't speak English well enough yet, so I took a job busing tables at a Chinese restaurant in a shopping mall. p56]
[After about three months of busing tables, I was promoted to waitress as promised ... The job turned out to be a great fit. p58]
[A year later, after I had further honed my waitressing and English skills, asked a classmate to teach me how to drive, and purchased a beat-up used car, I went to work at a fancy Chinese restaurant that had just opened in Santa Fe. page 60]
In her book published in China in 1996 (Piao Liu Ping, translation: The Floating Bottle), she wrote, 'As an overseas student on own expense, I am working illegally.' (translated from p10 of her Chinese book)

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, starting from their 2nd year, F-1 (visa) students may apply for Curricular or Optional Practical Training programs (CPT, OPT), which would allow them to work off-campus. The off-campus job must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the Designated School Official. (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=e34c83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e34c83453d4a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD)

Ironically, in 2012, Fu won the USCIS Outstanding American by Choice Award. (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=651214f929685310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=34165c2af1f9e010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCRD)

2. It appears inexcusable for Ping Fu to witness infanticides without reporting the crime to the law enforcement.
Fu wrote, [I witnessed the horrifying consequences with my own eyes: female infants drowned in rivers and lakes, umbilical wounds still fresh; baby girls flushed down the sewage system or suffocated in plastic bags and tossed into garbage bins. ... I didn't think there was any way I could help, but at least, I thought, I could offer them an opportunity to unload their burdens and cry on a sympathetic shoulder. p254]

Infanticide is a universal crime, as is in China. It is difficult to imagine people committing such a crime in front of strangers. It is more difficult to believe that a decent human being would witness such atrocities without intervening. One should report such crime to the law enforcement. One could also help to arrange the baby girls to be adopted. The story Fu told doesn't sound true nor moral.

3. Ping Fu likely lied to UIUC that she received a BA degree from Suzhou University in China.
[Summary: p258. Ping Fu wrote that she claimed a nervous breakdown to get out of Suzhou University.]
Didi Kirsten Tatlow wrote, 'Ms. Fu sent me a scanned copy of what she said was a letter from a fellow student, dated May 1982. In the handwritten letter, he mentions that Ms. Fu left university abruptly, without graduating, as all others were finishing their theses - under mysterious circumstances that classmates gossiped about but didn't understand.' (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/world/asia/21iht-letter21.html?_r=0)

So it appears clear that Fu never got her BA in China. But when blogger 'xgz' at Daily Kos contacted U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign regarding Fu's academic record, UIUC replied, 'We had a student by that name graduate with an MS from UIUC May 1990 and her Adviser was Jane Liu. She also obtained a BA in Computer Science & Economics from the University of CA, San Diego in 1988 and a BA in Literature from Suzhou University-China in 1982. Her original application file indicated she attended the University of New Mexico from 1984 to 1986, but no degree was awarded.' (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/02/04/1184660/-Ping-Fu-s-time-travel-machine)

Therefore, it appears that Fu lied to UIUC about getting a BA in China.

4. Ping Fu showed poor judgement regarding workplace racism and sexism.
Ping Fu wrote about early days at Geomagic, [Clearly, I was the wrong person to run a company. I needed a tall, smart, charming white guy to take charge of Geomagic. p 173]

Tall, smart, charming, white, guy? This type of sentences in the book shows that Ping Fu had poor judgement when it came to workplace racism and sexism back then, and she still doesn't know what is wrong now.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 2:11:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2013 9:26:47 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Factual errors

1. Ping Fu changed the anniversary of Nanjing Massacre to May 30, her birthday.
Fu wrote, [When I was nine or ten, I learned that the Rape of Nanjing Memorial Day falls on May 30, my birthday. p 25.]

But in China, the anniversary of Nanjing Massacre is on December 13, for the massacre happened in December 1937. This factual error makes what Fu wrote next in the book a bit strange, [The coincidence unsettles me to this day, making my birthday both a cause for celebration and an opportunity for grave reflection on humankind's potential for cruelty. p 25.] Hope Fu can have more peaceful birthdays from now on.

2. Ping Fu changed the time of the Long March by a decade.
Fu wrote, [Mao Zedong famously used this tactic in battling for control of China in 1945. When it became clear that he would not be able to conquer Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist army - which was backed by Western nations - by fighting in the cities, Mao retreated to the countryside in what came to be known as the Long March. p 199.]

The Long March started in October 1934 and ended in October 1935.

3. Ping Fu made a mistake about how much money the company received from its first VC investor in 1999.
Fu wrote, [In the spring of 1999, ... Geomagic had raised $6.5 million in venture capital funding from Franklin Street Partners' Paul Rizzo ... p 170.] [We raised $6.5 million eighteen months ago ... p 177.]

Geomagic website had the following press release on 04/07/1999, "Geomagic Closes on $5 Million in Venture Funding." (http://www.geomagic.com/en/community/press-releases/view/1999/)

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 2:20:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2013 10:04:39 PM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Back up space

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 2:20:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2013 1:33:16 PM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Index for Bend Not Break

Chapter One
[1-3] Jan 1984, Shanghai airport, family farewell; flight from Shanghai to San Francisco
[4] Jan 1984, San Francisco airport, connection
[4-9] Jan 1984, Albuquerque, the kidnapping
[9-13] Childhood up until spring 1966, Shanghai adoptive family, three friends of winter, papa loves mama, mama loves Pingping and cooking, bookworm, eighth birthday
[13-16] Spring 1966, Shanghai, the onset of the Cultural Revolution, the German neighbor left, her brothers couldn't travel to Beijing, papa was called revisionist.
[17-21] Late summer 1966, Shanghai, a few Red Guards took her from home and put her on a train heading for Nanjing, the city of her registry residence.
[21-23] Late summer 1966, on a train from Shanghai to Nanjing, reflection on Nanjing parents, mama taught her algebra and didn't like to cook, papa taught engineering at university.
[24-27] Late summer 1966, Nanjing, some Red Guards picked her up at the railway station, Nanjing's dark history - the massacre, chaos on the street, Nanjing parents were loaded on a truck and taken away.
[27-31] Later summer 1966, Nanjing, assigned to a university dorm room 202, met little sister, tried to wash clothes, wrote letters to parents (XOXO = kisses and hugs? WTH).
[32-34] Later summer 1966, Nanjing, dirty bathroom, tried to cook the first meal, rations for food and grocery.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 8:10:02 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 15, 2013 9:34:50 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 9:04:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2013 9:14:33 AM PDT
Sue Rogers says:
Thanks, Z. Wang. Great idea.

Could be another category: Ping Fu's forced admissions?
Such as "emotional memory", I never said I went to labor camp, I never said I published my thesis, corrected 3 times but Meimei did not fix it...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013 9:23:56 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Sure. I'll keep updating this list. Please come back often and let me know if you catch an error.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013 9:33:19 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 15, 2013 9:44:30 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 15, 2013 9:43:30 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 15, 2013 9:47:01 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 16, 2013 11:59:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2013 2:07:11 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Did Ping Fu know fractions after going through college in China?

Ping Fu wrote about her study at U of New Mexico in 1985. [I had learned some math in an unstructured way throughout the years - from my older siblings in Shanghai, Nanjing Mother, older children at NUAA, counting money to manage my household, and doing calculations while working at factories during my teenage years. But when the professor put fractions on the chalkboard, I stared blankly at the strange notation, which I had not seen before. ... I placed my index finger on a fraction. "That. What does it mean when you put one number, then a slash, then another number under it?" page 62-63]
However, she wrote that when China reopened its schools in 1976, she studied hard in preparation for college entrance exams. [I signed up for as many classes as I could fit into my schedule and studied day and night in a race against time. I quickly became known as "the girl who never turns off her lights." ... My mind was hyperstimulated by everything I was learning: math, phsics, ... page 231]
How could one study maths and physics for the Chinese equivalent of SAT without knowing fractions?

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 2:07:31 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
How much was her grandfather's gold nugget worth?

[Summary: page 187-189. Ping Fu wrote that her grandfather started to sell his art collections to feed the family in the spring of 1966. He bought a gold nugget many years before from a blind musician playing on the street after the man begged him to buy it so that he could care for his family. "I (grandfather) probably paid far more than it was worth because I emptied out my pockets and gave the blind man all my cash. But it wasn't about the value of the gold". He went on to say "Tomorrow, I'll sell this nugget to a pawnshop for maybe seventy yuan - about one one-thousandth what I paid for it."]
First, it was surprising anybody would need to beg people to buy gold. Second, in 1966, there was no pawnshop in China. Third, if the gold nugget was worth more than 70,000 yuan in 1966, and the grandfather paid "far more than it was worth" many years ago using pocket money, how much money did he carry everyday back then? To help put things into perspective, a college graduate engineer would make 56 yuan per month in the 60s and 70s. Fourth, was eight-year old Ping Fu supposed to understand one-thousandth (a fraction)?

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 3:37:55 AM PDT
L. Zhou says:
How about her Shanghai mansion? Nobody could locate it in SH.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 3:47:46 AM PDT
L. Zhou says:
She spent 2 years in countryside to do the investigation for her thesis. Given the transportation condition at that time,she could not manage day trips to countryside. How could she attend the classes at the same time?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 7:37:27 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
L. Zhou,
If her book, she wrote "During my senior year, I selected a somewhat obscure research topic for my thesis: China's one-child policy." "I spent a few months traveling around the Chinese countryside conducting research." (page 253-254). While I try to focus the list on her book, I'll discuss this inconsistency in Lie #5.

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 8:49:44 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
Ping Fu never mentioned her Shanghai adoptive family in her 1996 book published in China.
Ping Fu wrote, [In Hong Kong, a Chinese publisher asked me to write a book in Chinese about my first ten years in America. ... By 1994, I had accumulated enough notes to turn in a manuscript, and my first book we published in China. page 131]
Indeed, her book was published in 1996 by Hubei Children's Publishing House under the titile Piao Liu Ping (translation: The Floating Bottle, http://find.nlc.gov.cn/search/showDocDetails?docId=8553630059355238704&dataSource=ucs01&query=%E6%BC%82%E6%B5%81%E7%93%B6%2F%E6%97%85%E7%BE%8E).
In this book she wrote in Chinese for readers in China, many contradictions have been found when compared to her 2012 book, Bend Not Break, written in English for readers in the U.S.
In her 1996 Chinese book, she wrote that she was brought up on a university campus in Nanjing. There was no mentioning of her 'adoptive family' in Shanghai, where she allegedly grew up until the age of 8 according to her 2012 English book. There are other telling signs. When writing about her first flight from China to the States in her English book, she wrote, [The farthest I had been from Nanjing, the city of my birth, was Suzhou University, where I had studied journalism and literature. page 3] But it doesn't make any sense had she lived in Shanghai for many years, since Suzhou is a city BETWEEN Nanjing and Shanghai. (http://goo.gl/maps/Nauvf)

Posted on Mar 17, 2013 9:11:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2013 9:13:13 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
'Period police' in her college.
Ping Fu wrote, [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. page 254]
This is one of Ping Fu's most outrageous lies. First, why would the school check ALL female students indiscriminately? It is ONE-child policy, not NO-child policy. Wouldn't checking married female students with at least one child make more sense? Second, was it necessary to check for blood? Back in the 80s, students in Chinese colleges lived in dorms, with usually six to eight people living in one room with bunk beds, and they took bath in public bath houses. With such little privacy, can someone really hide her pregnancy? Third, there has not been a single account of this invasive school policy anywhere besides Ping Fu's.
Ping Fu recently talked to Didi Kirsten Tatlow of the New York Times about this. [... 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. (http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/true-or-false-the-tussle-over-ping-fus-memoir/#postComment)]
It is still an obvious lie after her 'correction'.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 9:38:23 AM PDT
Z. Wang says:
L.Zhou,
That her Shanghai house cannot be located is suspecious. But it is inconclusive at this time. For example, there is possibility that it was demolished due to construction of new buildings or new roads.
Besides, there are more than plenty evidence to nail the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2013 9:53:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 17, 2013 10:56:48 AM PDT
H. Chen says:
Z. Wang:

I do not think a house like that would be demolished because it would be classified as "cultural and historical heritage" Plus, it is strange that the picture taken was just the house, given at least 9 ppl lived there.
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Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds
Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Meimei Fox (Hardcover - December 31, 2012)
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