JENNIFER LIN: Shanghai Faithful

Join us Friday, March 24 at 6:30pm for a reading and book signing with Jennifer Lin, author of Shanghai Faithful!

In less than a decade, China could have more Christians than any country in the world. Through the 150-year saga of a single family, painstakingly researched by award-winning journalist Jennifer Lin, Shanghai Faithful vividly dramatizes the untold story of the nascent rise of Chinese Christian faith and the remarkable religious evolution of the world’s most populous nation. The book, both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the spread of Christianity in China, portrays five generations of the Lin family—buffeted by history’s crosscurrents and personal strife—bringing to life an epoch that is still unfolding.

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“Do you have any idea what happened to us?” The year was 1979 and the author, then a college student, was visiting family in Shanghai with two sisters and their father. The bamboo curtain had just been pulled back a bit. That haunting question had come up in a conversation her father had with Uncle George, the younger brother of the popular preacher Watchman Nee. Lin, a fledgling reporter, was hooked. Now, after three decades of researching archives, reviewing family letters, and interviewing relatives in other parts of the world, Lin reveals the poignant and painful answer.
A compelling cast—a poor fisherman, a doctor who treated opium addicts, an Ivy League-educated priest, and the charismatic religious leader Watchman Nee—sets the book in motion. Lee takes readers from remote nineteenth-century mission outposts to the thriving house churches and cathedrals of today’s China. The Lin family—and the book’s central figure, the Reverend Lin Pu-chi, the author’s grandfather—offer witness to China’s tumultuous past, up to and beyond the betrayals and madness of the Cultural Revolution, when the family’s resolute faith led to years of suffering and persecution. Forgiveness and redemption bring the story full circle. With its sweep of history and the intimacy of long-hidden family stories, Shanghai Faithful offers a fresh look at Christianity in China—past, present, and future.
"Only an experienced and dogged journalist...could possibly investigate and write such a thoroughly griping historical personal narrative." Connie Chung, TV Journalist
"Lin's riveting account...offers an illuminating perspective on China's ongoing struggle to create a new national and cultural identity." Terry Lautz, Harvard-Yenching Institute
"An extraordinary book." Ran Dunch, University of Alberta
"A captivating, poignant story about the nature and power of belief." Jeff Gammage, author of China Ghosts
“Through her own family history, Jennifer Lin has authored a beautifully written elegy to that generation of foreign educated, humanist and often Christian Chinese who had begun to form a cosmopolitan class in China that was comfortable on both sides of the East/West divide and might have successfully led China from its cultural traditionalism into modernity. Instead, this class was savagely persecuted and then erased by Mao and his revolution, thus creating ten of thousands of family stories as heart-rendingly tragic as this one. At the same time, China was denied a whole generation of its best educated and most able professionals, teachers, scientists, businessmen, artists and leaders creating a national tragedy of such titanic proportions that the country has still not recovered from it." Orville Schell Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society.
About Jennifer
Jennifer Lin is an award-winning journalist and former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In a distinguished thirty-year career, she served as the paper's New York financial correspondent, Washington foreign affairs reporter, and Asia bureau chief, based in China.
Event date: 
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
The Doylestown Bookshop
16 S Main St.
Doylestown, PA 18901
Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442256934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - February 16th, 2017