When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China's Reawakening


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

An experienced journalist, author, and speaker, Dori Jones Yang has written seven previous books, including a best-selling business book about Starbucks and two award-winning novels about Chinese children in America. Educated in history at Princeton and in international relations at Johns Hopkins, Dori worked for eight years in the 1980s as a foreign correspondent for Business Week, covering China during its pivotal years. From her current base near Seattle, she also worked as West Coast technology correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and has traveled throughout China over forty years and spoken about her books across the United States. She currently resides in Kirkland, Washington.


2022 International Book Awards Winner in History: General
2022 IPPY Awards Silver Winner in Autobiography II (Coming of Age/Family)
2021 CIBA Harvey Chute Book Awards Finalist

2021 CIBA Nellie Bly Book Award First Place Winner
2021 Feathered Quill Book Awards: Memoir/Biography, 2nd Place

2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards: Memoir (Other), Finalist

2020 Story Circle's Women's Book Awards, Memoir, Sarton's Shortlist

"In this intimate memoir, Dori Jones Yang takes a close-up look at the emergence of China in the 1980s, from backward country to world power. Beijing bureau chief for BusinessWeek, Dori was an eyewitness to the start of this historic transformation, and she tells the story with insight and verve. She also shares her own personal odyssey, from Ohio to Princeton to Beijing, including the loving embrace of the Chinese man she met on an airplane and married two years later."

-Stephen B. Shepard, former editor-in-chief, BusinessWeek

"With refreshing candor, riveting detail and sharp insights, this beautifully told memoir breaks the mold of 'Western journalist-discovers-China.' Dori Jones Yang's wonderfully personal journey allows one to view this vastly different culture and increasingly powerful country as she did--with open eyes and heart, without prejudgment. I could not put this book down."

--Helen Zia, author of Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese who Fled Mao's Revolution

"Dori Jones Yang writes particularly eloquently about the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown; it marked the endpoint for China of a golden decade of economic reform and freedom while for her it was a betrayal by a country she had come to love and admire. This deeply personal book interweaves her desires for professional success, love, and motherhood and may inspire young women striving to balance these aspirations in their own lives."

​--Judith Shapiro, co-author of Son of the Revolution and of China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet

"Like all superb memoirs, Dori Jones Yang's is not only a candid reflection of her own character and experience, but an eyewitness account of an epic time in history. Her sensitive observations and skillful writing bring the yin-yang dualities of her life into a gratifying if sometimes hard-fought balance, to deliver a story that is sweeping yet intimate, ambitious yet humble, serious yet engaging."

​--Claire Chao, author of Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels

"This book is about two transitions--Dori Jones Yang's from student to Hong Kong bureau chief for BusinessWeek, and China's from central planning to an open, market economy. Beautifully written, it portrays the victories and setbacks of both 'awakenings.'"

--Shanta Devarajan, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Georgetown University

"Dori Jones Yang has given us two wonderful, East-West coming-of-age stories for the price of one: China's metamorphosis from poor Communist backwater to quasi-capitalist powerhouse, and her own journey from rookie reporter in the male-dominated world of business journalism to respected foreign correspondent. Both tales come with their share of great leaps forward and troubling setbacks. This chronicle of her two love affairs--with China and with a very special Chinese man--and her steely determination to succeed not only as a professional, but as a colleague, wife, mother, and stepmother, make for an inspirational and rewarding