- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; First Edition edition (December 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591845521
- ISBN-13: 978-1591845522
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (912 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds Hardcover – December 31, 2012
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*Starred Review* China’s Cultural Revolution—when teachers were considered enemies of the state—brought about the displacement of thousands of children of merchants, bankers, college professors, and others. In 1966, Ping Fu was seized from wealthy relatives at age eight and suffered savage treatment and deprivation for years. As this fragile young girl comes of age in a communist work camp, a great mind emerges. Later, while attending college, she interviews mothers about the killing of thousands of female babies and creates what is considered subversive literature. For this she is eventually deported from her native land. Fu arrives in America with only a few dollars and a strong will to survive. These experiences cause her to reckon with both the cruelty and kindness of strangers and to foster amazing resilience. Fu’s later adult life reads like a fascinating Forrest Gump–style adventure as she encounters giants in the world of computer and Internet technology. As founder and CEO of Geomagic, “a 3-D digital reality solution company,” Fu speaks to the need for humanity to practice love in business relations in order to avoid inflicting pain on future generations. This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero who remains committed to making the world a better place. --Susan DeGrane
In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring.
--Publisher Weekly Review, 11/5/2012
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“She tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending....Her life story is moving and inspiring. Like the people who gave her a helping hand, she is generous to share it with us.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring . . . Ping’s eloquent prose and remarkable attitude shine through in every word.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
“An inspiring story . . . the book reflects the tone of its author: clear, honest and unassuming.”
“This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero who remains committed to making the world a better place.”
—BOOKLIST (starred review)
“This is an utterly unique memoir, a fascinating look at one woman’s journey from a difficult childhood in Mao’s China to the top of the American tech world.”
—TONY HSIEH, CEO of Zappos.com; author of Delivering Happiness
“Do not read this book if you reject kindness, humility, and ingenuity. With staggering authenticity and zero cliché, Ping’s story will shock you to your core. Your notion of human capacity will be redefined. It’s Rocky, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Gone With the Wind—all in one.”
—SALLY ROSENTHAL, executive producer of the documentary Between the Folds
“There are few people in our world who embody optimism like Ping Fu. She shows us how the human spirit can endure amazing hardship to find happiness, joy, and astounding success.”
—SIMON SINEK, author of Start with Why
“I could not put this book down. From surviving the insanity of China’s Cultural Revolution to the cutthroat antics of hi-tech venture capitalism, from low-life outcast to billionaire dealer—it’s amazing to believe this all happened in one person’s life. The lessons Ping Fu has so artfully accumulated are inspiring, heartening, educating, and entertaining.”
—KEVIN KELLY, Senior Maverick, Wired; author of What Technology Wants
“Resilience is the most essential element of life and business today, and there is no more shining role model for resilience (and grace and humility and a bunch of other qualities) than Ping Fu. The story of how she fled China under precarious circumstances, made a new life in the United States, and built a vibrant company should be required reading.”
—CHIP CONLEY, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality; author of Peak and Emotional Equations
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Ping Fu, chief strategy officer of 3D Systems in the US, blamed inaccuracies in her memoir on memory failures or editing errors. Photo: Screenshot via Reuters TV
By South China Morning Post
"In 2010, Fu told US media NPR that she witnessed Red Guards execute a teacher by having her quartered by four horses, simply to frighten the children into submission. After Fang raised sharp questions about the veracity of this story, Fu admitted that this that traumatic event might not have taken place, and that her "emotional memory" might not be accurate. NPR has since removed the interview from its website."
"Speaking to a Post reporter by telephone in late June, Fu conceded last week that some of the details in her book were not accurate. "There was no arrest or time in jail or prison for the Red Maple Society members. We did informing and confession."
"...Soochow University officials have shown journalists dozens of documents including Fu's full academic records, to prove that she never conducted research or wrote a thesis on female infanticide, nor was she ever punished or arrested for political essays in student publications."
Ping Fu did not ever witness a teacher's death.
Nor did she ever be arrested due to political activities.
Nor did she ever write about a thesis on female infanticide.
She put as the opening in Bend, not Break that she was "quietly expelled" by Chinese government. Now we konw she had never done any deed as she claimed in the book that could possibly cause official expelling.
The book Bend, not Break lies from the first sentence, and the lie continues in the following chapters throughout the book.
It is just interesting for us to wonder what kind of editing errors can result in stories that never exited, or how bad a memory Ping Fu has to have to write a bio contradicting to her schoolmate's memories and Chinese readers' common sense.
Just probably not at this amazing scale/level!
I'm almost her age and went thru the SAME Culture Revolution in China - certainly it was a very bad thing no questions about it. I'm a Chinese living in the west for almost 25 years, and I certainly understand/respect people having different opinions.
As long as they don't bend the truth almost beyond recognition!
A word, integrity, comes to mind. Just don't know if it's still important any more in today's new world.
It's totally ok to confuse memoir with fiction, or have inconsistencies from for example sometimes unreliable memories.
Own up to them, correct them truthfully and move on. It would still be a great book! I'd certainly buy the new edition, unless she gives it to me for free since I purchased the 1st edition.
Or on the other hand come with verifiable places, names and dates to support them. I'd be very happy to admit that I got it wrong.
Take responsibilities, rather than blaming the reporters or co-writer etc, after all it's her memoir, or calling decent/honest Chinese people here "China's Internet vigilantes" or worse, whose only fault seems to be not able to stand big fat "inconsistencies".
I understand the clearly displayed "rage" of Chinese Americans, or why people like me who never wrote a review here suddenly decide to speak out.
However, I'm sure she's fully capable of handling this professionally.
Oops, Chinese words didn't work here so here they're again in pinyin: Ku Hai Wu Bian, Hui Tou Shi An.
From business damage control viewpoint, the sooner the better. Cut the loss and move on. Might not be a good idea to wait too long until many her ex-classmates/teachers and ex-neighbours come out to spell out more "inconsistencies".
Truthfully, I have faith in her!
Thanks for your attention.
p.s., Convenient Truth: While reading the book lately, I somehow remembered An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. Inconvenient truth? Come on dude, if it's inconvenient just bend it, seriously, how hard can it be?!