The Japanese army's brutal occupation of the city of Nanking during the 1937 Sino-Japanese War is known, for good reason, as the rape of Nanking. As they slaughtered an estimated 300,000 people, the invading soldiers raped more than 20,000 women - some estimates run as high as 80,000. Hua-ling Hu presents here the amazing untold story of the American missionary Minnie Vautrin, whose unswerving defiance of the Japanese protected 10,000 Chinese women and children and made her a legend among the Chinese people she served.
The book is published by Southern Illinois University Press.
Where does American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It is the best one I have heard thus far. The story was fascinating and the performance was spot on.
What did you like best about this story?
I am ashamed to say I knew little of this chapter in history, and I am glad to know more about it. I was inspired by the heroism of Minnie Vautrin and horrified by what happened at Nanking. Although I am ambivalent about the religious practice of sending missionaries to foreign lands, it is clear that Vautrin acted in a manner that was, at its heart, deeply humanitarian.
Which character – as performed by Karen Huie – was your favorite?
Ms. Huie has a soulful voice, and her performance served the story well. It is expressive without being distracting, and her beautiful pronunciation of names, titles, and words was integral to the narrative. My favorite "character" was Ms. Vautrin herself. Ms. Huie's passionate recitation of passages from Ms. Vautrin's journals are heartbreaking and heartfelt.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
I like the quote from Vautrin's diary, "Had I ten perfect lives, I would give them all to China."
Any additional comments?
What incredible beauty and heroism to come out of horrific tragedy. Both inspiring and humbling.