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From the Chinese film version of "The Gallant Maid" titled "The Heroine"

He Yufeng was created by “Yanbei Xianren” and appeared in Ernü ying xiong zhuan (The Gallant Maid, 1851-1879). “Yanbei Xianren” was the pseudonym of Wen K’ang (1798- 1872), a local official in Anhui who came from a prominent Manchu family and was appointed imperial agent to Lhasa. The Gallant Maid is little-known outside of China but is popular inside it, having inspired sixteen sequels.

The Gallant Maid is about He Yufeng (“Jade Phoenix”) and An Ji. An Ji is the son of the righteous official and Manchu bannerman An Xuehai. An Xuehai is in charge of the repair of a dam, but a flood destroys the dam and An Xuehai is made the scapegoat for its destruction. An Xuehai is imprisoned and ordered to pay a large fine. An Ji travels a long way to help his father, carrying a large load of silver to ransom him, but he repeatedly runs into misfortune, with his donkey drivers and later some evil monks both trying to rob him. Both times he is rescued by He Yufeng, who also frees an old farmer whose wife and daughter, Chinfeng (“Golden Phoenix”), had been captured by the monks. He Yufeng explains herself to the farmer. Years ago her father, General Ho, had been killed by sorcery. General Ho had been a high official of the Solid Yellow Banner, but his superior had ordered him to marry He Yufeng to the official’s son. The son was crude and barbaric and was unworthy of He Yufeng, who is beautiful and educated. General Ho refused to countenance the wedding, so his superior had him jailed on false charges and then killed him via sorcery. He Yufeng, loyal to her father in the proper Confucian way, retreats to a rustic village with her mother and then goes to the underworld and trains herself as a nüxia, or female knight-errant, to avenge her father. While her mother is alive, however, He Yufeng cannot carry our her revenge, and instead makes a good living robbing corrupt and evil government officials. He Yufeng is so strong and such a good fighter that all the other outlaws greatly respect and fear her. In the underworld she is known as Shisan Mei, “the Thirteenth Sister.”

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If nineteenth-century Iranian women discovered time travel, where would they go? What would they bring back?



Photographer Shadi Ghadirian did not have these questions in mind, persay, but she is interested in how the Western world perceives Iranian woman like herself. In her photography series "Qajar," she brings out the cognitive dissonance that someone unfamiliar with Iran may experience, as well as comments about the position of women in society today.

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Tina Wise announced this on her facebook last week, and I'm signal-boosting for folks who are fans of L.A. Bank's work who want to help during this trying time.

***

From Tina:

It is with profound sadness that we have to inform you that our beloved sister and friend, Leslie Esdaile,
(“L.A. Banks”) is most gravely ill. She is facing an uphill battle in her struggle with serious illness. Please
know that as Leslie needs all of her energy in this fight, she is absolutely not able to receive visitors,
answer emails, texts or phone calls, or receive flowers. What she is able to receive is your continued
prayers.
 
 
Also, Leslie’s medical expenses are mounting at an astronomical rate. If you wish to assist Leslie, a fund
has been established to help with these ever increasing expenses. If you wish to send donations (please
note that donations are not tax-deductible) to help Leslie, please see the information listed below:
 

Leslie Esdaile Fund
Account #81538801
Police and Fire Federal Credit Union
Operations Center
901 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2404
215-931-0300
 

If you live in Philadelphia, PA, you may take donations directly to any Police and Fire Federal Credit
Union branch. Please be sure to note the account number. You may also send them to the P.O. Box
listed below*.
 

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union Branch Locations:
Main Branch:
901 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
 

Additional Branches:
Leo Mall, 11705 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116-2515
 
Davisville Shopping Center, Street Road, Philadelphia, PA
Andorra Shopping Center, Ridge and Henry Avenues, Philadelphia, PA
City Avenue Shopping Center, 7604 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19151-2007
Mayfair Branch on Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Northeast Branch, 7500 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Grant and Academy Shopping Center Branch, Philadelphia, PA
 

You may send good wishes and cards to*:
 
Leslie Esdaile
c/o Tina Ryan Wise
P.O. Box 37189
Philadelphia, PA 19148-9998
 

On behalf of Leslie, her daughter Helena, her sister Liza and all of her family and friends, we sincerely
thank you for all of your continued prayers and support.
Tina Ryan Wise
 
Tinarwise@gmail.com
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“If I walk, I hope my footsteps won’t be erased just like that… I want many other footsteps to follow mine!” - Anne Avantie"

Anne Avantie's signature kebaya designs are growing in popularity as Asian fashion enters the global scene. Born to Chinese parents in Solo, Indonesia, Anne never had any formal training in fashion design, but always had an interest in the fashion world. Her love for fashion design started young, when she created and sold hair ornaments to her friends in elementary school. As she grew older, Avantie began doing costume design for her school events and other local events in Solo, and in 1989, she started her own company with only a rented house and two sewing machines. Her business soon boomed, however, with her specialization in her elaborately beaded costume wear and wedding gowns.



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Click to read more on the publisher's website.

When we take about the impact of the Industrial Revolution, we speak of it in terms as if there had been only One Industrial Revolution, and that had taken place throughout the Western world during the nineteenth century. As I had written about before, the Industrial Revolution didn’t just happen then, and in fact, the current industrial revolution is happening throughout the non-Western world just as the West begins to grow nostalgic about it.

In talking about alternative histories, and how the non-West would develop, it’s interesting to dream up scenes of Imperial splendor (like James Ng does). It is equally valid, however, to note that you don’t have to look toward the Qing dynasty to see a Chinese industrial revolution, for, as James himself has noted, China is changing into a fully developed industrial nation as we speak.

With that in mind, I picked up Leslie T. Chang’s book about her observations about today’s current revolution, specifically of those factory girls in China that the West likes to paint as faceless factory drones (occasionally laced by the feeling of guilt toward those “poor sweatshop workers.”) Chang, however, breaks down that stereotype (though sweatshops are very much alive and well in China) and presents a look into the lives of today’s migrant factory workers.

Compulsively readable and engaging throughout, FACTORY GIRLS: From Village to City in a Changing China highlights the stories of the young people (particularly women), who are changing the face of the global economy today. Instead of the masses teeming in nameless sweatshops that the West envisions, these lives are individually dynamic and driven, full of same sorts of fear and wonderment that the young mill girls in the West may have also felt a hundred and fifty years ago, as they sought to make new lives for themselves.

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