By Li Qunying, Louis Han
A Communist healthcare professional of serious commitment, Li Qunying certainly had fewer ghosts in the back of her than others, yet her existence was once in lots of methods ill-fated as she struggled to exist via big political turmoil—the Anti-Japanese battle, the Civil battle, the Korean conflict, and the infamous Cultural Revolution. the good step forward stream tragically took away her son Bingbing's existence, and the persecution of her husband throughout the Cultural Revolution took a significant toll on his wellbeing and fitness, eventually resulting in his early demise. in addition to enduring own misfortune, Qunying additionally witnessed the affliction of the peasants, who have been the vast majority of the inhabitants on the grass-roots point and whose sorrowful tales have not often been shared. advised from a uniquely woman viewpoint, this haunting memoir interweaves eyewitness heritage, folklore, and superstition to inform a really compelling story.
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Extra resources for The Doctor Who Was Followed by Ghosts: The Family Saga of a Chinese Woman Doctor
It was privately owned, very expensive, and staffed with some Japanese doctors. A few days before my mother passed away, I heard a bell ring in the street. A “wild doctor” — a medicine man who wandered through the streets — was ringing it to attract customers. The medicine men were also called guo lu xian sheng — passing-by doctors. My father ran out to find the doctor and brought him home. The doctor had a long gray beard and wore a traditional robe. On his shoulder, he carried a dalian — a long, rectangular bag sewn up at both ends, full of all kinds of herbs.
Even marriages were arranged around it so there wouldn’t be conflicts between the bride and bridegroom. People believed that the animal ruling the year in which a person was born determined his or her personality and fortune. “I’m a rat, and now I have revealed my true self. My days are numbered,” my mother said sadly, as if her soul had already left her body. ✪ My mother’s illness had gotten progressively worse over time. In the early fall of that same year, she was critically ill and became bedridden.
I didn’t cry. In fact, I felt as though I was in a daze. I had to be led by a cousin. I couldn’t even remember how I had walked eight miles to the destination. We couldn’t afford to buy a burial plot for my mother. The only alternative was Nanyuanzi, eight miles south from the town, a place where most people left their loved ones’ coffins above the ground. Instead of burying the coffins deep in the earth, they lay them on the surface, sealing them with a thin coat of mud, which was a less costly procedure than full burial.