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China Ghosts


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About the Author

Jeff Gammage is a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives with his wife, Christine, and their daughters, Jin Yu and Zhao Gu, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.


As more Americans adopt Chinese children, the bookshelves fill with firsthand accounts of their experiences. Perhaps because many adoptions are preceded by infertility issues, most of these memoirs are written by women. So this, a father's account of going to China with his wife to adopt their first and second daughters, is particularly useful. Gammage, a staff writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, had been happily married without children for many years, although he knew his wife really wanted children. By the time they discovered they couldn't have biological children, the best option was adopting from China. While there were tensions over their first daughter's medical problems (an infected scalp injury), both adoptions went reasonably smoothly. Back home, Gammage wrestled with his mixed feelings about the birth parents and his "burden of good fortune," that guilty knowledge that his own happiness came from someone else's misfortune. Realizing that his own relationship to China was being shaped by the process of raising two Chinese girls, he ends this upbeat memoir by wondering about the impact of this new wave of immigrants on the future of Sino-American relations. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"[A] moving geographic and psychological odyssey to China."--USA Today
"A love story between father and daughter . . . Powerful emotions."--Washington Post Book World
"Revealing . . . thoughtful . . . A father-daughter love story from a sensitive writer who doesn't neglect thorny issues of race and culture."--Kirkus Reviews

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