Interview with Ray Hecht on "Pearl River Drama: Dating in China" | Speaking of China

22 Responses

  1. marghini
    marghini April 24, 2015 at 10:44 am | | Reply

    Great interview! The books sounds really interesting.

    I also struggle a lot with deciding how much of my personal stuff I want to share on my blog. On one hand sharing is great and that is the whole point of having a blog/ writing a book of memoirs, on the other hand it makes me feel so exposed and I also worry about my boyfriend’s privacy..

    It is really hard to find a balance between too cold and too personal.

    Any blogger found the magical solution for this internal struggle? I’d love to hear opinions on this topic.

    1. Autumn
      Autumn April 24, 2015 at 11:38 am | | Reply

      Marghini, this is why I don’t use my real name. Although I have been found out by a few family members, and I suspect future blackmail payments are imminent.

      So that’s maybe not a great solution either.

      1. marghini
        marghini April 24, 2015 at 11:52 am | | Reply

        Autumn I swear I love your humour like crazy. If we didn’t live an ocean apart I would totally invite you out for coffee.

        Just saying.

        PS: Autumn is one of my favorite names in the world and I will possibly pick it for a future daughter. Just saying, again.

        1. Autumn
          Autumn April 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm | | Reply

          Make mine a cappuccino! In the AFTERNOON. I know how you love that.

          But thanks very much for the compliment on my chosen name and my humor. I am fortified against angry responses to my comment on Jocelyn’s previous post!

          1. marghini
            marghini April 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm |

            Cappuccino in the afternoon? Over my dead body.

  2. Autumn
    Autumn April 24, 2015 at 11:40 am | | Reply

    Intriguing interview. Will have to check out the book. I suppose it’s a good sign that none of the exes have threatened legal action.

  3. R Zhao
    R Zhao April 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm | | Reply

    You’re killing me with all these great book recommendations. I still haven’t gotten around to reading “The Reluctant Brides” (though I did download it). I still want to read Grace’s second comic book. Right now I’m in the middle of “Factory Girls” which isn’t exactly as I expected it to be, but is pretty interesting. I also want to read “Fresh Off the Boat.” Has anyone here read that? I started watching the TV series and I like it.

  4. Ray
    Ray April 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm | | Reply

    Oh my. I feel so shy now.

    Thanks very much, Jocelyn!

  5. Timo
    Timo April 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm | | Reply

    Loved the book. I read it as soon as Ray mentioned it on his blog, needless to say I followed each blog post about this topic.

    I dont know if I be able to write about such very private things. I surely do post a lot about my creepy family and with it also about things in my life but there is still much I do keep away from the public…

  6. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason April 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm | | Reply

    What a great interview! I read Ray’s book and loved it, too. I found it to be very refreshing. It might be good to know that in my experience and from what I’ve heard from other authors, people are usually most upset when they are excluded from a memoir, not the other way around.

  7. Dan
    Dan April 25, 2015 at 6:28 am | | Reply

    First, I love Autumn’s blog. She has a sharp tongue with great humor.

    It is so hard to compare the attitudes toward dating and life between US and China. We might all want the same things, but the path moving toward such goals are so different.

    In particular, this idea of defining your own happiness is a hard sell in China. I can see why some people can simply jump into defense because they can’t seem to do the same. It has something to do with the conditions that you live in and the very different mindset instilled by the society.

    1. Autumn
      Autumn April 25, 2015 at 6:48 am | | Reply

      Now I’m shyer than Ray!

      Thanks very much for the compliment, Dan. Between you and Marghini, I am set for a week.

      Your comment reminds my of a post Jocelyn made a while ago:

      In it, her father-in-law tells Jocelyn about marrying out of filial duty, just because it’s expected. Is that the sort of mindset you’re talking about? It’s hard for a western woman like myself to wrap her head around making the biggest decision of your life just because your parents tell you to — yet my Chinese-American significant other has parent who find it unfathomable that their son wouldn’t do exactly what they tell him to do!

  8. R Zhao
    R Zhao April 25, 2015 at 7:53 am | | Reply

    I started reading Ray’s book last night and I thought I’d make a quick comment.

    Ray, I really admire how honest you are. You’ve put yourself out there in a way most people don’t and that allows others to see things in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. I know there is a “sexy” side to China and an underworld with drugs. But being a woman, I have a totally different experience here. And it’s not just being a woman, it’s also where I live. Being in a small city in the north, things are still very closed-off. People are conservative when it comes to drugs and sex and pretty much everything. I really enjoy learning about another, perhaps darker (and certainly more interesting), side of things.

  9. Dan
    Dan April 25, 2015 at 11:05 am | | Reply

    Destiny or free will? I guess Americans are taught to believe we hold our own choices. Traditional Chinese thinking would want their kids to benefits from their experiences by teaching the kids how to live. Probably Americans believe future is unknown, and Chinese think the future is a repeat of the past.Why not just replicate the success of what has been working? I can’t tell which way is always better. There are certainly good things from listening to your parents.However, American parents tend to let the kids go and not to fuss about smaller mistakes in particular. I feel American parents sometimes push their kids to be independent too early. A balanced approach would be wiser.

    Keep in mind you are given many second chances in America. Those options are often not available in many other countries. It is harder to change the mindset for your Chinese American husband’s parents even after they have lived in US for so long. You can’t take the man out of China – they will always be Chinese in some ways. I like how you can handle it with some humor while blowing off the steams.
    It is better to learn to accept the differences and hope they will accept yours in return. I think the differences will always be there. It can’t be all bad. Didn’t you just wrote about getting a fat check to pay for wedding?

    I am a Chinese American. I’ve learned after lots of struggle.

    1. Autumn
      Autumn April 25, 2015 at 11:16 am | | Reply

      Yes, I think it would have been smarter for me to try and simply accept Andy’s parents. I always thought that Andy didn’t try hard enough to explain his own viewpoint to his parents. It took me a long time to figure out what he knew all along — there was just no point. But that’s another blog post. Someday.

      And yes, the check was big, but certainly not big enough to cover even half of the wedding. 😉

  10. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary April 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm | | Reply

    Congrats on being brave enough to share such personal stories in a memoir.

    I don’t think I would be brave enough to reveal such intimate details on my life. I am still in the writing process of my memoir and there are a few details which I am at odds about sharing.

  11. Jocelyn Wong
    Jocelyn Wong July 12, 2015 at 4:51 pm | | Reply

    I read this book and found it immensely honest and well, interesting. Loved the interview 🙂

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