i was given a cup and start drinks water, ready, set, action, and the little pipingy here. the correct way to drink a water is one breath and wipe my mouth with both, and that's what i did. anyway, i was picked, and i just remember -- i couldn't perform. there was no way. oh, all i could think is i did not want to go back to labor camp because i had a back injury. that shows, and later on, the extent was sent, and there was -- her office said it was awful, and we were caught in beijing to watch the favorite
movies and to learn technique and not be poise ped by its contents, and we need a study section to go through that, and the moment we saw all these -- the movies, in the film roomings and we all got poisenned men mentally, and you see because she saw herself because they were 20 years older, and they got a mad woman in the back, and there's a sec wife who was a mad woman, everything matches, and second movie was "sound of music" because they have to take care of the kids, and a beautiful -- was responsible for
merging so many chinese people, but in the meantime, her fantasy. anyway, september 9th, 1976, died, overthrown, and two months later, i was denouncedded. the next eight years, i was punished for guilty by association, and by the time i thought i had no way out, i was -- put it that way, if i remained in china, woi would be dead today. >> what point did you determine you wanted to come to the united states, a nation that you had grown up learning to hate and fear? >> i was caught in blood, and i got shadows on my lung, liver, and they were working, and i thought my life was ending, and
it was then my old friend on -- when she was in china, she was told not to be my friend, and then she went to america. we were best friends, going up to be a superstar of china, and i was going down, and then after she arrived, america was creating a movie called the last emperor for, oh, and she felt safe enough to contact me, and so she wrote a letter, and i learned her life in america, and i was surprised she was not treated as a princess. she was like every chinese student, and -- and in americaings you have to work for your tradition. a lightbulb went off, and i said, could i be one of those students, and i don't speak english, but i would be willing to work hard. i'm from labor camp.
she applied everywhere in the united states, help me, but nobody would accept me, and then she says, she says -- thank you -- can you have any talent, and i said, i grew up painting murals, public murals, and so at that time, lucky enough, there's french impressionism, i can copy things of van goeh. [laughter] my mother came back and saw the paintings, and i applied to school of the art institution in chicago, and they thought i had a potential, and then -- >> you basically lied about your english; right? or misrepresented? >> well i couldn't fill out the application form, and first, my name, and i didn't have english
name, and the neighbor, a white man, said, you should name yourself to be an american name, so i printed out angel, and years later when my daughter was 11 years old, i gave her the application form as a gift saying don't ever forget where your mom come from, and i come, and my daughter look at the name, and ape jell, she says, mom, that's not angel, that's angle. [laughter] the next line was sex, and i consult the chinese english dictionary, and there was no explanation. i did not know how to fill out male or female. i didn't know what to circle. i took it to a friend who helped me fill out the form, and by the line of english language skill,
there was an option poor, average, good, excellent. of course, excellent. [laughter] so with that, i came to america, and i got stopped right at customs. > at o'hare? >> no in transition before coming to there, for deportation. >> you get to chicago, get to the school, your english is not good enough, you take english classes, but eventually, you begin to establish yourself. tells about your early life in chicago, where you livedded, what you had to struggle with. >> i lived everywhere, i lived in somewhere downtown. first, deportation, and i broke down, told the translater my feet are in america, and, please, i beg you for a chance.
i'll be dead in china. i didn't have the fortune to die in china, so she went, the translater went back with the immigration officer, and they discovered there's a clothe that says it's upon the arrival of the student if english is not sufficient, sent to university of illinois for english intensive language for six months, and. the six months, i have to master english and make it back to the art institute that gave me the i20. if not, the school is responsible for reporting my situation to immigration, and from there, deportation. i bet youssef mejri learn chinese in six months if you're in my shoes that desperate. [laughter] anyway, i learned english by watching sesame street and by radio, public radio, and newspaper and it's just everything, and the most
difficult thing i have to pretend all these years i was doing well making america because i have burden to rescue my family in china. yesterday, i was passing the downtown post office, and i remember my first photo and asked to take a picture of me under the flag. why the flag? we have a lot beautiful buildings in chicago, why -- i said, once, to be under the american flag. >> your life in chicago when you got here was very difficult. you had a lot of difficult jobs that didn't pay you very much. >> five jobs, but i have a different mind set thought i was given the right to life. it was up to me, fortunate first time, and so i -- to answer the question, wicker park, logan scare, irvin park, and unfamiliar with the train because i had a job as a
delivery person in downtown, walk everywhere, the chinese restaurant, the door in downtown chicago where my legs carry me, and downtown south, outside of china town, like, 26, and then on bridgeport, and so i -- my happiest of place was 4311 south hulsted. i had a storage room. for the first time in my life, i had my personal space. the best thing was that the -- the feeling was the wall would not close, and there was a retarded map, and if had had diarrhea, it came in the room. [laughter] i was happy. >> when you complained, he said, that's why it's cheap, it's a storage space. >> yes. my health broke down. i passed out and asended to the
hospital, and doctor told me that do you have anybody to take you there? i said, no. i can walk there. i take the train. he said, no, you will collapse any time. he reported to the hospital thinking i have some sort of disease or something, so the moment he dropped me at the hospital, the men came and escort me in isolation room and put me in the white suit to test, because i was coughing blood and everything, and they found nothing was wrong. it was just depression. they sent me to the depression and to see a psychiatrist at the school at the art institute, and i saw -- i figure it's a good opportunity to learn english. [laughter] it's a disappointment because the psychologist is not -- she would not talk to me or fix my english. [laughter] the chinese people at that point
see psychiatrist, was thatted why of psychiatry new to you? >> right. how can a person be depressed when she doesn't feel depressed? >> a lot of what you talk about are events you wrote about in the book. two-thirds of the book are your life in chicago before you gain all this success, before you moved to california. talking op the phone the other day, you -- you talked about how difficult it was to write this second portion of your memoir, that you embarked on it, when you were a hot commodity, and it didn't work. talk about the difficulties of telling this part of your life story. >> well, after 20 years of making a living as an author, and sitting next to jkrowling,
i, as an author, i start to realize the asset of my life. it's how i approach it. by now, i know the right way to write the book. the book ought to be written, but the point is do i have the courage. pickedded daughter says if you leave me anything leave me your stories, but not the sugar coated or air blushed version. that was key. >> i read a lot of imb grant stories, told by second generation about the mother, and i found a lot of things mothers left out. i know exactly why. these are the things that i wrote. >> things mothers left out because they didn't want their children to nose these things? >> uh-huh.
the dark side. >> can you talk a bit about the dark side you had to plunge into in order to tell the true story? >> it was loneliness and lack of money, that drove me to live in the deepest place in chicago, and submit myself to the most vulnerable situations where i was raped, and the other day, i was -- i'm on book tour in san n diego, and there's a chinese woman who cried and said same thing happened to me, exactly, it's a mirror image. i was raped and i did not report, and i felt the same thing, that people were not in normal situations, where they are in dispair, crushing loneliness, helplessness and the hopelessness just drove people to madness, and the rape and the
strangling, and it's the things that happened in. on the other hand, i have problem with my siblings and my family. why do you have to reveal that to the world? >> did they say this to you after the book came out and knew you revealed it? >> i was -- i am going to -- i am not going to sugar coat, so i might say something that would have negative effect on my family, but i feel that i don't owe my life as american, i see that, i see that. i see -- i owe that to america and owe that to my daughter. if i -- >> to tell an honest story? >> right. right. i love america and chicago so much, and i think it's -- the -- this is -- it's the right thing to do, and also another thing
was about this talk about my christmas, and thanksgiving for three years, i didn't have the money, and mostly was afraid that i may not get a visa back if i ever visit my home, so i was here alone all by myself. i could have been -- go to friends with the chinese community, and i thought -- but i would never learn english the way i do now. i must deny myself that part, so for my christmas, thanksgiving, i was alone, and value type's night, my gift to myself was this pornography tape. i have a relationship with the tape for so many years, and that's part of -- it was by incident that i entered into the shop. >> the same tape over and over; right? >> right. it's called "sex education."
[laughter] eventually, the store owner >> eventually the store owner says that he is curious why she bought it because i would've sold it to you for $25. and she says, you are the only one renting anyway. [laughter] so i talked about a $20 come and i thought that this would be my companion for the rest of my life. [laughter] >> does english come to you naturally now. >> it is still difficult. my daughter comes up to my cabin and she says, as a teenager, in a few weeks she would come back and say, same sentence, same page. i would rather go to medical school. [laughter] >> you are talking about when
you write, you write in chinese. >> i compose in chinese plots and the details everywhere and my husband -- i just have this ocean of notes. it is all in chinese. i executed english. >> one of the things that you make towards the end of the book is to be an immigrant is to be the people you love and leave behind. you left your family. >> yes. >> your mother died. >> this happens in your book and it's actually very emotional that your mother dies and she is so far away. what does that change for you? >> i think that she became part of the driving force because i had never realized that the my
relationship with my daughter and my mother, after all of these years, i was not able to attend her -- attend to her when she was ill. i couldn't even get there when she was dying. so my father said, i think that every immigrant fears that at 4:00 o'clock, when you hear that caught camino something is not right. anything, boy, your mother is in a permanent sleep and i said, why can't you just issues well. so everything is permanent in the way. it is like something is
unchanged to me. to my relationship with my daughter is a difficult one because she -- at the beginning she would not understand me and she was born in chicago. i wanted to take her to disneyland but i took her with a gift and that was her life until she became a teenager and she broke down and rebelled and said mom come i don't want to talk about this. i said, okay, i always talk to you about this because i know that the hard work can backfire. my daughter often sees the opposite. she tends to see and say, it is
not the end of the world being poor, okay. and i just -- i see that we are having the american dream and her kids are happy and they have their own rules, their skating boarders, their stuffed animals, and i wonder what they had. i don't want to live this life working with you on the weekends, no summers do the tile and working the switch. when i come home, even a bottle of shampoo can want get ri of the stink in my hair, and i don't think i'm asking too much, so she broke down crying, and that was my tough time, tough moment. >> home depot figures fairly
regularly in your book. [laughter] >> we almost lived there. i lived there. [laughter] >> learning to repair things, take care of things, do just basic work is a real theme of the book, and in the conflict you describe here between the life that you led, the skills that you were forced to learn, and the life of your daughter, the lives of the far more privilegedded children of most americans now. i mean, that continues to be a conflict for you. some reviewer described you as the original tiger mother. >> well, i asked my daughter, she'll tell you, lloyd, my husband, he is the tiger dad because i -- >> a vietnam vet. >> a u.s. marine, and english teacher of 30 years, and he tells my daughters, you tell your mother, she's an immigrant, no idea what the american school
back america. i would never -- america give me the opportunity. you will never be -- she's at stanford now. she'll never get that chance. being somebody knob's daughter. you have to pay back. i can see her being helpful, like with her skills building house, plumbing, and he can surf where people needed her. i think that was my -- yes. >> you mentioned on the phone the other day, you go back to china regularly, and that you're worried that this generation of chinese kids is going in the direction of the privileged, spoiled american.
>> i went to china, and my friends' children's birthday whatever celebration. the highest place is mcdonald and kentucky fried chicken. that's where they celebrate. it's everything america. now kids asking them for money to go to america. right now china spends a fortunate -- family fortunate to send their kid to america for school. it's a number one choice for family to invest in their children's education. >> there was a report that came out just this week about the increasing distrust between americans and chinese. but just in the past couple of years on both sides of that divide, people are more mistrustful. do you per receive that that americans are becoming more
distrustful of chinese and chinese becoming more distrustful of america. >> i'm not surprised. the china i know in american textbooks and how crazy we are. china is our partner and rivel, and we made no point to teach our children about china. that doesn't make any sense to me. >> what do you think americans don't understand and china and the chinese it's important we understand? >> if you see the -- i think it's americans see china, to me, black and white. 80% of china is gray. that's what my book -- that's where i go. china wants to make america understand china, but in the meantime china is unwilling to
reveal the dark side. and chinese people telling my family telling me to hide it. and a chinese people will not write the i do. i will not write the way i do if i'm not americanized. i do see that, believe the mistrust. the china presents itself with perfect image. the image looks so fake. and as american, i know that revealing your honesty, your flaws, it's not necessarily to your disadvantage. because americans thans humans are flawed. they think it's -- you look at your scarlet o'hara in "gone with the wind "the hero and the her and i think that's the part that the chinese don't understand. and oftentimes americans not being able to understand the
chinese is not being able to have access to chinese literature. it could never make it to american main stream market. >> why not? >> chinese is the authors -- the censorship, even in my them moisture, i think i automatically -- how many times you see in the memoir protag nist, the self, the author project themselves as flawed? part of my chicago story is to show that. >> are you saying saying that chinese literature the protagonist would never be flawed? >> it's automatic. not at depths. flawed in the harmless way, yes. because you don't exam yourself and dissect yourself to autopsy on my mistake as hon ally as america could.
for example, a lot of things i got scammed in chicago when i was a new immigrant. i was part of the fault. i was greedy. i was because of money i needed money. it was like flies never park on an egg that is not cracked and stink. >> there is through your whole life and your work a striving, a constant striving to somehow be more -- not exactly have more, but to be secure. a striving toward a certain security. you live in beautiful northern california, you have a solid second marriage, your daughter is at stanford. what do you strive for now? >> to feel secure.
i'm deeply insecure with my writers. i feel retarded. lack of talent in everything i do. you see, my talent is in the knowledge that i lack of talent. i know the bar is there and how far i want to jump. i know, if i make an effort i will. but i'm not equipped. every day i read chinese and a book a day. reading in chinese. in my best days writing english, i actually feel like i was writing in chips. -- chinese. americans in the main stream bookmark, i want to entertain but i also want you to walk away with solid knowledge of china. i feel like china has been misrepresented and misread. i think it's just ridiculous for
americans who get the wrong message understanding about china. and i know i'm given the liberty that i can of my story especially historical fiction. i'm untitled to to that. do i want to throw one more rock in to the well where china is already at the bottom to mislead american public further? i choose not to. if my book doesn't sell, if it give you the satisfaction totally, and i see t my choice. and my -- my book had a struggle. nobody wanted it. because the publisher, they did not nothing the american reading public to brace the story. the sad story. -- [inaudible] on trial sentenced to death after 38 years of marriage and
she was considered demon and still considered the george washington of china. as a child they condensed the video of the tv to a few second where she was given basically portrayal of herself. she shouted in chinese. [speaking in chinese] that's a perfect self-portrait. the translation, i'm -- asked me to bite. i bit. that was precisely her role. after mao became the emperor of china and she became the -- [inaudible] you want to find her way back to mao's arm. that was her life. i felt it a beautiful ending. in the ending she hanged herself in the tale. using socks, she tied all the socks together.
there's nothing to tie and she tied it bed frame and rolled herself over. what kind of determination to die, i was wondering what -- [inaudible] her thoughts with mao or her long life? what was it? so the book is written and nobody wanted -- and my current editor he the guts to take it. at the time making money with lord of the ricks. they thought they could invest in the literal work. took a chance on me and immediately it's a best seller because paper -- it's chinese history. and also my other books. i'm with bloomberg who published harry potter. i think they took a chance on me
because they had money on harry potter. so any book is -- [inaudible] chances. and i really appreciate the american critics, the quality of their -- people they sent to me. and my for example -- [inaudible] he asked me the first question. ultd like to discuss you on the topic for a writer's pen name the free villagers who instigated the cultural revolution. i go, where do you go to school? what was your major? he said culture revolution. [inaudible] >> we have four minutes here to take a couple of questions from the audience. we have 0 microphones there in
the middle of the aisle. >> it's a pleasure and honor to meet you. i'm a native of your chicago. your story is very moving. my first view to china is a famous fictional account about an american in china. she presents two views of china that she was amazed how exotic it is. but she characterized the main protagonist, the laborer and how harsh it was to. did you ever read that? what was your reaction to it? >> i was brought to denounce it in 1972. right before nix son's visit. we were children -- i remember i was welcoming nixon, i was giving two red flowers in welcome and i was -- when
nixon's car passed i was at the correspondenter and -- corner and i saw -- do i shoot him? we were so young. the man is so daring to come to china. because we wanted to -- i did not know. she was scared to come with nixon. at the last minute chef refused a visa to come to china. before that they paved their way to -- [inaudible] organized denouncer. i never know this name. what did she write. we're giving them -- she insulted the chinese president. so i did -- was not able to get any book. as i remember -- [inaudible] it wasn't until the book tour actually in chicago. i first read her "the good earth "i just broke down and sobbed on
the airplane. i have never seen any author income -- including my favorite chinese author portray of the chinese -- with such a faction and the accuracy. it's a life she's the only one -- i know she had a debate with the chinese professor in "new york times" after she got the nobel prize. and the debate was mr. khan was saying why can she protray china and 5% the best of chips. why would she choose the ugly said. she said i'm glad. i happen to be interested in the 95 percent of chinese population. i'm having the same thing. the chinese people tell me who are you? are you mao's daughter. you're so average. you're so plain. so i give them her answer.
i happened to be as average as 95% of the population. thank you. [applause] >> we are out of time. i really enjoyed this book. we are really out of time. i have a question. >> chinese and i come here about fifteen years, and just -- i was working if are newspaper before. and two years ago i changed to another job working for american company. and just two days ago, my american coworker bought this book for me, because he wanted to try to encourage me for english. and i'm really honored to be here. so my question is [inaudible]
struggle forking -- [inaudible] use english and what is makes you more encouragement to learning english. >> to survive. >> well, you are already in america. let me tell you, english is easier than chinese. [laughter] >> thank you. because i working for twelve years on the chinese -- i'm working for the chinese newspaper. t a reporter too. >> yeah. >> i think that the most difficult for you would be try to stay away from the chinese community. [laughter] that's why i denied myself for so many years. i know if i didn't speak english i e would never be independent in america. >> that's what i want. thank you so much. i'm really proud of you. thank>> thank you. [applause] >> that was a great chicago
difficulties and emerging solutions. they come together in that order and we publish more policy journals and we like to bring people together in open settings when we think about the heart of the philosophy, it started almost 10 years ago and he is now part of the world affairs council and we bring together a group of people across political affiliation and we are delighted to continue this very important series. we are so elided to have adam with us. he is also an accomplished novelist as many of you know, and i'm guessing it is probably
not a coincidence that it could be called hitler's secret bankers, which has a little bit to do with the book that we are here to talk about today, which is just part of the title. i love that. so he has really delved into this, which is something that a lot of people haven't heard of, but they played a pivotal role in what is happening in the global economy and will continue to happen going forward. so he's going to talk a little bit about the history of the bank and the more recent history, he has very interesting suggestions going forward for how the bank could be more transparent and accountable and hopefully lead to better government. the talks in the format is informal and then we will kick off a couple of questions. then we opened up to the room. this is really what makes this
event great, it is all of you. please be ready to tee up your questions. we are delighted that you are here with us tonight. also if you could do us a favor if you have a question, please just wait for the microphone to come around so that we can hear you. with that said, welcome. we are so happy to have you here. i'm looking forward to what you have to say. i'm a big finance geek. >> thank you. thank you very much. i would like to say thank you to the world policy institute for coming tonight and also for c-span coming to film us. it is so much appreciated. so talking about the settlement, you can understand the where it came from, and what it does today. so what is the bank's international settlement?
most people have never heard of this apart from the people who would be on the more technical side of central banking. it was set up in 1930 it was set up with history that reaches back to the end of the first world war. many were punished by being forced to pay reparations. how much would they pay, how long would they go on for. and what would happen with the allied powers and how would they be set up to collect and minister and manage these reparations payments. it set up for a very obscure basis. but the real reason it was set
up was so that central bankers and the governors of national banks and the bank of england and the federal reserve to could have a place to meet that wasn't supremely protected and inviolable. well, what does that mean? it means that this is an international organization and it is a unique hybrid in the world. it is the world's oldest global financial institution before the imf, before the world bank. it got all of the same protections for almost all of the united nations and from the moment it was set up with a national treaty, it is just almost extraterritorial in the same as the british embassy that
has that level of protection. during the 1930s, the central bankers had a place where they can meet and discuss things away from politicians and the way it goes from the eyes of reporters. during the '30s, things were so secretive. there was a "new york times" reporter who did report on this for the magazine. and he said after these meetings come he wasn't even allowed into the room when it was all gone. ..