Author(s): Li Feng (Columbia University, New York)
Li Feng grew up in Mao's communist China with her mother's motto burning in her ears - success demands two things: unconditional sacrifice and absolute mental focus. Finally breaking free of her mother's overbearing clutches and fleeing to Sydney as an adult, Li struggled to make sense of her own lost childhood by piecing together her family's history. What she found was a heartbreaking tale of love and loss that echoed across four generations of women - from Silver Dollar, who fought to regain her dignity and change her destiny after being sold into a loveless marriage at the age of 13; to Ming Xiu, who was forced to make a choice no mother should ever have to make following the execution of her husband; to Li's mother Rong, who grew up as an outcast on the periphery of society but never gave up hope of a better life for herself and for her daughters. Despite economic and political upheaval, these women battled to offer their children a better future through sheer determination in the face of unimaginable adversity. FORGED FROM SILVER DOLLAR is an inspiring true story about modern China, iron will and the strength of a mother's love.
Li Feng is the proud daughter of a Chinese matriarch. Li, meaning 'standing up/independence', is the name given to Li by her mother to reflect the ideal for which she had fought so hard. Li came to Australia in 1997 as an overseas student and has been living in Sydney ever since. In China she worked as a professional English-language interpreter for SCTV (Sichuan Television), and is now a specialist in cross-cultural project development and training facilitation between Australia and China.