Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds
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Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds

2.6 31
by Ping Fu, Mei Mei Fox
     
 

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Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping Fu was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 and a few phrases of English.

Yet Ping

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Overview

Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping Fu was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 and a few phrases of English.

Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new homeland. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought she’d be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader.

“She tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending.”
The Wall Street Journal

“This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Her success at the American Dream is a real triumph.”
The New York Post

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring. Eight-year-old Ping is living a privileged life in Shanghai with her intellectual father and loving mother when her world explodes during the Cultural Revolution. With her family seen as an enemy of the state, they are forcibly split up, and Ping is placed in a meager camp with her four-year-old sister. After years of torture as a child, including a brutal gang rape at age 10, Ping is briefly detained after her college thesis on infanticide ends up in the hands of politicians. An exiled Ping immigrates to the U.S. in 1984 with just in her pocket. In 1988, she graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of California at San Diego and worked on the team that created NCSA Mosaic, later known as the Netscape Web browser. Next, Ping and her husband founded Geomagic, a 3D software company, which has counted Mattel and Boeing as its clients. Ping's eloquent prose and remarkable attitude shine through in every word—and her compelling story will remind more than one reader to be thankful for what they have. Agent: Laura Yorke, Carol Mann Agency. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
A Chinese-American businesswoman's memoir of exile, torture, immigration and, ultimately, astounding success. With the assistance of Huffington Post blogger Fox (Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your Life, 2011, etc.), Ping Fu, founder of Geomagic, a 3D digital-reality solution company, reveals the inspiring story of her life. Until age 8, Ping and her intellectual, doting parents lived comfortably in Shanghai. That existence was blown apart by the Cultural Revolution, during which her family was regarded as an enemy of the state. During the 1960s and '70s, Ping and her younger sister were confined to a camp where she endured years of vicious torture that included being gang-raped when she was 10. Despite receiving no formal education between the ages of 8 and 18, she went on to attend college, but her thesis, on infanticide, landed her in hot water with politicians. Exiled, she arrived in the United States with less than $100 and English so limited she could only say, "hello," "help" and "thank you." Ping's early years in America were peppered with encounters that ran the gamut from surreal (she was kidnapped at the airport upon her arrival) to quotidian (she studied relentlessly). In 1988, she earned a degree in computer science and joined the team that created NCSA Mosaic, later known as Netscape. She and her husband subsequently founded Geomagic. Ping advises women aspiring to be in a position similar to hers to "[t]hink about moving forward to make personal or social progress, rather than moving higher to gain a superior position." The book reflects the tone of its author: clear, honest and unassuming.
From the Publisher
“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.”
KIRKUS REVIEWS
 
 “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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591845522
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“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.”
KIRKUS REVIEWS
 
 “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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Meet the Author

Ping Fu was the founder of Geomagic, a 3D digital reality solution company, and is now Chief Strategy Officer of 3D Systems. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

MeiMei Fox is an author and book editor who also blogs regularly for the Huffington Post.

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Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ping Fu has some questions to answer based on her "non-fiction" memoir. The following is an english translation of an article written by a famous Myth-Buster in Chinese internet community: Fang ZhouZI. Fang is  a freelance writer who specialize on cracking fraud among academic in China.  Forbes recent article on Ping Fu and her book turned viral and caught Fang's attention. Here are some poings Fang made based on Ping's "story": First up, Fu's claim she was sent to a labour camp at age 8 or 9 with her younger sister where for the duration of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she was kept apart from her parents, brainwashed, starved, tortured, gang-raped, forced into child labour and deprived of education. Fu would have been a minor throughout the Cultural Revolution, Fang points out, never mind her younger sister; children that young being forced into labour camps was unheard of: "I haven't seen this in anyone else's memoirs of the Cultural Revolution, it must have been a tragic experience had only by Ping Fu herself." As for Fu's claim of being deprived of education those ten years, Fang points out that in 1977 - when the holding of university entrance examinations resumed and Fu was accepted by Suzhou University - not only were all applicants get pre-screened for eligibility, but also less than 5 per cent of applicants were accepted that year. "Was she a prodigy?," he asks. In 2010, Fu told NPR (13:30 here) she witnessed Red Guards execute one teacher by tying each limb to a separate horse and dismembering her by having each horse run simultaneously in a separate outward direction, done specifically to frighten the kids into submission. Of all the different cruel ways people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, Fang writes, with many beaten to death or buried alive, dismemberment using four horses was unheard of, except for Ping Fu's having said so. She says all the other kids in the labour camp were assembled to watch this, he asks, so why didn't even a single one of them step forward to say they'd witnessed such a rare and inhumane thing? Were all the other children killed? Getting technical, Fang adds dismemberment by horse sounds easy, but would have been quite difficult to pull off even if Red Guards had been able to find four horses trained to do such things. "Would Red Guards go to such great lengths just to scare these kids?" Several hundred years ago there was rumoured to have been dismemberment by five horses, Fang goes on, but in fact that was just a legend: Criminals have been dismembered using horse carriages, which is obviously easy to carry out, but not using horses themselves. Dismemberment by carriage has been carried out several times in Chinese history, he says, but records of it were kept each time and the practice died out hundreds of years ago. Dismemberment by four horses was used in ancient times in the West, and if China's Red Guards actually resumed the practice in Nanjing in the 1960s, making that the first time in Chinese history a living human was dismembered using four horses, and Ping Fu is the only person to publicly acknowledge having witnessed this, then shouldn't those who research incidents of torture call her to talk? Shouldn't the victims and other eyewitnesses also be sorted out? In an interview with Forbes, Fu also appears to have claimed to have written her undergrad thesis at Suzhou University on the practice of female infanticide in rural China and that she her research received nationwide press converage at the time. In 2005, speaking to Inc., Fu went on to explain that after she submitted her undergrad thesis in 1980, her findings were later covered by Shanghai's Wen Hui Bao newspaper and later by also by People's Daily, resulting in condemnation from around the world, sanctions imposed by the UN, and Fu getting tossed into prison. Fang says he went back and checked People's Daily archives for the period Fu says her research would've been published there and found nothing regarding female infanticide in rural China: In fact anyone with a bit of political common sense knows that People's Daily at that time was full of nothing but glorious and wonderful news and it's impossible anything affecting China's image so much as this would've received coverage. As for the UN imposing sanctions on China, does she not know that China, as a member of the UN Security Council, also has the power to veto motions? Why does nobody else in China know that the UN placed sanctions on China in 1981? And how does Ping Fu know that? Regarding Fu's claim to NPR she was walking on campus when a black bag was suddenly thrown over her head and she was stuffed into a car before being arrested: This is like a scene from a gangster film. In 1981, was there actually any university campus in China where the Public Security Bureau would have had any reservation about taking away a university student? On Fu's claim she was then held three days and narrowly avoided being sentenced to reform through labour when authorities decided instead to send her into exile: Getting exiled to the United States to study just for writing a thesis with negative content, could there be anything more wonderful in this world? The only people China sentences to be deported are foreigners. The practice of sending dissidents off to the United States didn't begin until the 1990s, and that was only reserved for the most high-profile of dissidents. Ping Fu was an unheard-of university student at the time, which makes being deported off to the United States to study a true miracle. Being allowed to pay your own way to study in the United States in the early 1980s was remarkably difficult to achive; without special connections overseas, it would've been impossible. Noting Fu told Forbes she arrived in the United States knowing only three words of English, Fang remembered hearing the same anecdote in interviews she'd given to other media, so he went back and checked and found different sets of those first three words: Inc.: Please, thank you, help; Bend, Not Break: Thank you, hello, help; NPR: Thank you, help, excuse me. Not only that: According to the Inc. report Ping Fu arrived at Suzhou University wanting to study engineering or business, but the Party assigned her to study English. How then could she have only learned just three words? Even if she wasn't an English major, English was still one of the core courses. And even if she was a poor student, how is it possible she was only able to remember the three most basic words in English? All these claims are only good enough to fool laowai who don't know anything about China. Ping Fu knows that, which is why she's so much more honest when speaking with Chinese. [...] At the time, Chinese international students had many ways of being able to stay there in the United States. One of those was to fabricate bizarre tales of having faced persecution in China and apply for political asylum. It didn't matter how fantastic you made your experiences, Americans would still believe them to be true. Some people told so many lies they even started believing it themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 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 regimen 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 regimen 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel this is a fiction, rather than memoir. The author's memory is truly bent, even broken if she believes the story she tells. Like she, I grew up in China in the same time period, went to College after the culture revaluation, and came to the US for higher education. Based on my life experience, there is very little could be the true in her story. There are many scholars, bloggers who have life experience during the time period she's writing, published articles and reviews about this book. I challenge the author to produce some witness to her accounting of the horrible experience she endured. Fact or fiction, the readers deserve to know.
cannothelptodisclose More than 1 year ago
I have been reading all the reviews. And people have said enough. Here is a summary: 1. Is this an inspirational book? yes, it is. I also agree. 2. Is this really a memoir based on true story? absolutely not. So you judge it. If you want something to inspire you, but don't care about it is real or not. go ahead. Otherwise, just dig a little bit history, you will see. Most people are innocent people, and you need ask if you need some spirit from something which didn't happen at all. As a matter of fact, the stories in this book are much worse than that. I do think if you have a high standard, you want integrity, and honesty in your highly spirited life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ping Fu's clarification is full of lies By Dr. Zhouzi Fang Ping Fu posted a clarification article on her blog today in response to my criticism. Her article can be found at [goo.gl/T7OOn] 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 [goo.gl/8ghHV] 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 [goo.gl/0GFGO] 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 [goo.gl/M5d3K] WeNews report at [goo.gl/GVoz9] NPR even said that she never set foot in a classroom for those 10 years. See [goo.gl/SkJko] Illinois Alumni said she was locked up for 10 years and released when she was 18. See [goo.gl/lzpTN] 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 [goo.gl/dmfE0] 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. 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 [goo.gl/HSilr] 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 [goo.gl/9ZX1g] 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 have 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story turned out to be a shameless joke Go to Forbes to find out why. Ping Fu, a bold liar who has humiliated all her book reviewers and readers.
EarthVillager More than 1 year ago
This book is full of straight lies, I never heard of anybody is lied more than this author before. She definitely set some kind of record. For all she stating  how she suffered in China and got wrongly treated etc are obviously lies aimed to obtain sympathy from the normal Americans. I actually think that all those reviewers and editors who gave 5 stars are trying to start a propaganda war against China; otherwise very simple, just do some simple search and ask some people who knows about China whether her story is believable, then you will know her stories are lies and lies. I myself lived in the same time as she, and my family got punished more than her family by the communism party; but as discriminated and humiliated as our family at the time, we never experience, saw or heard any stories like she wrote. She is a fabulous liar with a bullet proof skin, I can't understand how people can fall sleep with such kind of big lies. I know a lot of ordinary American like to hear China is so evil,  but are you guys ever thought of that all you guys got brain-washed by the media whole your life? Being a Chinese American who spend 1st half of my life in China and 2nd half of my life in US, I can see both the good part and bad part of both countries and their people. And for one thing I can tell you, don't just believe other nation/people is evil because you heard it from the media or somebody; mostly the ordinary people in other country is just like you, a ordinary American who cannot change anything politically and need to work and earn the paychecks every day. I wish there is a TV interview featuring the Author and some other Chinese American who questioned her together on the stage; it probably only take 5 minutes then all the viewers will know whether she is a liar. I think the ordinary American people are smart enough to distinguish a lie from truth if they are presented with equal information from both sides. I always thought and still believes that one of the biggest character of normal American people is their honesty and integrity; but It's a real pity that now so many honest people are fooled by this shameless liar and wasted their hard earned money on this book. Should God hear, he will punish her. Man, in before I thought Lance Armstrong is the biggest liar, now I know he isn't for sure, he definitely looks like saint to me compared to this Lady Ping Fu. Time will tell, everybody will know the truth if not brain-washed and dried. On internet, there are a lot of thoughtful and complete analysis/reviews on the lies from this book. One convenient place is Amazon's Customer review board, it has a lot of good posts with facts and analysis from a lot of people; the most thorough one is from reviewer Lin; I suggest you read his(or hers) post before you buy the book. God bless America with less cheaters and liars.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to know an anti-American dream, about how dishonesty can move you to the top, this is an excellent book to read. Otherwise, forget it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With just taking the stories of Ping Fu as stated in the book, this is a great book. A book describes well how a young lady accomplishes great successes in America - a great great country with freedom, democracy and opportunity . My problem is, the stories in the cultural revolution, are not true, the most, fictional. I agree with many readers, who lived through that period and suffered in that time, she really exaggerated too much. I would have no choice but question the honesty and integrity of the author. And why she does that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To potential buyers who are not familiar with the period of the Cultural Revolution, this book may sound like a very inspirational rags-to-riches story, but to any Chinese person who had gone through that period, including myself and my family members, this book is more like a novel than an autobiography. Since its release, the book has stirred up a massive online debate over the veracity of Ping Fu's alleged life experiences. Many of the author's claims have been debunked and even the author herself has admitted there are inconsistencies and errors that need to be corrected in subsequent printings. I suggest anyone interested in this book check online for more information about the controversy over this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fu fabricated her experience in Shanghai and put a file photo from architecture archives of a Spanish style villa in her book as her Shanghai parents' residence.
ZXDeng More than 1 year ago
One of the authors has admitted to many memory lapses in her interview with the Guardians.  Moreover, the publisher has compromised to make corrections in the future. It could have been a much better book.  But I would only consider it after publisher makes all the corrections.   Look forward to the 2nd edition.
graffitimom More than 1 year ago
I found the story of Ping Fu's early years in China to be interesting and heart wrenching if true. Being forced at 8 years old to leave her parents and raise her younger sister and the treatment she faced growing up in China was difficult to read about. I wondered if neighbors really did not help the children more. The fact that she remained optimistic after all that she went through speaks well of her. Her immigration to the USA and subsequent education and founding of a software company was interesting to read about, but got bogged down a bit in the details. She is very proud of her accomplishments but I would have enjoyed the book more if it was written in chronological order instead of bouncing back and forth and it if remained focused on her life instead of her work. Some of the information did seem bit far fetched. I received this book as an Early Reader in exchange for my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, the American aren't stupid, but they do tend to loose that intelligence when it comes to China. Brain washed is what I call it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fake memior. It is Ping Fu who takes advantage of the compassionate American people who cannot stand to see her claimed suffering. Over decades, she has found how her suffering actually won her compassion from people and how her vulnerability turned out to be her advantage. She especially emphasizes how being as a female victim has helped her to achieve her successful status. You cannot help but notice that does not matter where she goes she keeps telling people she came to America with no money and no language skills, being locked up in a house on the first day of arrival. In her Bend, not Break, she described how she was wrenched away from her Shanghai parents at eight years old and was forced into playing the role of a surrogate mother to her four-year-old sister. Later she evokes her emotional memory to tell many unfounded stories in her books and speeches. After her lies got debunked, to get away from the lies, she just simple declares “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.” Chinese people around the globe who experienced the Cultural Revolution have great deal of life stories to tell. But here is not the right forum to address it, not because of the denial, nor of suffering amnesia. Chinese people could remember their 5,000-year history. As we have nothing to lose, we simply refuse to take lies as granted, or way of self-promotion to gain power, fame, and money.
LaoZhiQing More than 1 year ago
It is a surprise to see my schoolmate published a memoir about her life in two worlds. So far during my twenty-plus years in the U.S., this might be the first memoir I found written by one of my former schoolmates from Suzhou University.  The description of her life in her first world in this book was so fictional that I, as a science major, could not help but admire her talent as a literature major who seems to be able to spin her bizarre tales almost effortlessly, but inventing her personal experience as a source of inspiration for others is not ethically acceptable in my opinion. I fully understand why my other schoolmates all show great contempt for her story. As an electrical engineer, I think this book has a very low signal to noise ratio and needs to be cleaned and filtered thoroughly. Do you want to spend your money on worthless noise rather than useful signal?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have found Ms. Ping Fu indeed is not telling the truth. Furthermore, her academic background is also seriously in doubt. For anyone who is interested, just google "Ping Fu" and spend sometime to read, you will find you are dealing with a bold liar. Not matter how hard she and her team try to down play with it. It is hard for me to image a person can be like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GrandpaGuy More than 1 year ago
Regardless of all those one star reviews, I liked this book! The author tells a great story of succeeding through adversity.    Bend, Not Break by Ping Fu was a wonderful serendipity for me. I like to wander the "new books" kiosks at the local B&N. Every book on the shelf gets looked at. I don't know why this one jumped out at me. It is an emotional tale about a girl who barely lived through the Cultural Revolution, was expelled from China to the USA and became an incredibly successful entrepreneur. There is a lot of controversy about the book, but it is a great story in any case. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starts shoving his cock into her.
blingping More than 1 year ago
"A life in lies" would be a more proper name for this book. I wouldn't have any objection about this book if it's in fiction or fantasy section.  No doubt that Cultural Revolution was a dark moment in Chinese history. However it doesn't mean Ping Fu has rights to invent exaggerated stories to mislead people.  What a shame. I even feel that it's a waste of time writing comments here. For those interested in finding out why so much anger has been provoked by Ping Fu's book, please read many lengthy analytical comments posted by people who treasure honesty and integrity on Amazon. Fang Zhouzi pointed out in his comment about this book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1HM1JFIKF3NB8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm, "Revealing a liar's lies, exposing a cheater's cheats, that is not defaming. That is merely pointing out the truth."    
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bend, Not Break, A Life in Two Worlds is a book that all Americans of Chinese ancestry and those who reside outside of China (Peoples Republic of China) must read. The book gives a very good insight into the shadowy and dark past during the Cultural-Revolution in China. Those of us of Chinese ancestry who reside outside of mainland China can never relate to the horrors and hardships experienced by those who lived it first-hand. As an American of Chinese ancestry who has been very involved with the Chinese community for decades and continues to be involved in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, etc., the stories that Ping Fu wrote about have quite a bit of credibility. Having spoken to many immigrants from China, their stories verify much of what Ping Fu relates. The oppression, cruelty and destruction of anything of the historical and cultural past by the Red Guards against anyone having the slightest or imagined past or present; i.e., a hint of privilege, intellect, wealth, etc. was truly an act of barbarianism. It is difficult to deny what happened during that time in China when so many people who lived thru it confirm what was written in Ping Fu’s book as was related directly to me. Ping’s ability to survive along with other Chinese, who were lucky to survive this era, shows the inner strength of a person who will not “Break.” A person purposely or unwittingly joins the Party to escape further punishment, admits to falsehoods to get a lesser punishment is understandable. This is documented throughout history during unspeakable times (i.e. : Crusades, Nazi Germany, Khmer Rouge). I have never seen such an organized, hatred spewed criticisms against an author. I can only surmise that the organized attacks are State (PRC) sponsored and by a select group. I have painfully read the hundreds of criticisms and find that there is a commonality of criticisms, little of originality. I can only assume that these critics are intellectually challenged and are followers, not leaders since the criticisms are essentially the same with a few minor differences. There is no basis for this vitriol, smear campaign or call it what it you may. Literary criticisms are one thing, political criticism poorly disguised is another. These attacks have now evolved into “the human-flesh search” as it is known in the PRC. Those of us of Chinese ancestry who have resided outside of the PRC have been truly lucky to not have experienced what Ping Fu and others had to live thru. We have had the opportunity to develop our intellect and freedoms and the ability to choose the life we live. This development and advancement would surely infuriate the Red Guards into a jealous rage. We are very proud of our ancestry and our rich history; I can only assume that our blood or my blood would be of a black element because of this. The Red Guards would have definitely have sent most of us to re-education camps to be never heard from again. I am proud of my Chinese Heritage and Ancestry and would love to learn more. But alas, most of the ancient records and ancestral homes have been destroyed by the witless Red Guards. Though I am not very proud of this era of my Chinese history, it is something that I shall deal with in my own way. I can only say one thing to Ping Fu: “Hang in there; you have a lot of supporters.” As my grandfather would say; “Do not give face to the cowards or they will win, apologies are not needed; only clarifications may be needed.” Read the book with an open mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
See june 29 2013 new yorktimes editorial exposing the campaign to slander and discredit this author for simply telling the truth.
NJ_Dad More than 1 year ago
We all have our struggles with family, friends, health, work, etc. But what separates those who succeed from those who flounder is that the success stories always involve struggle despite the pain. Ping Fu reminds us that humans are capable of accomplishing amazing things under adverse situations if we just get on with it. There is nothing magical about this story, she simply had the courage to get up every day and try to make it better than yesterday. We all need to know that that if we emulate the struggles of Ping Fu we also will make our struggles in life the springboard to better days ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book worth your time