Ina From China

Children & Young Adult, Young Adult, YA Age 12+, YA History

The Chen and von Steinitz families met during the Boxer War in 1900, when German troops occupied Peking. At that time, a friend­ship developed between a German officer and his Chinese negotiant.

 

As a result, two generations later, a little girl could be brought to safety in Brandenburg. Chen Yinna was 7 years old, when she came to Germany in 1937, because Shanghai was under Japanese occupation.

But soon the war was to influence her life a second time -  with blackouts, air-raid warnings and refugees. Only years after the Second World War, Ina – as she was called in Germany – returned to her family. Barely able to speak Chinese and feeling completely disconnected to her native culture, she had to struggle a second time to settle down.

 

This extraordinary novel is based on a real biography and recounts the difficulties Ina faced acclimatising, as well as details of everyday life as experienced by a young foreigner in a small town in Nazi-Germany between 1937 and 1944.

 

Although the events are true, the characters have been fictionalised to some extent for artistic reasons.

Susanne Hornfeck

Susanne Hornfeck is a sinologist, translator (of Ha Jin among others) and writer. She spent five years lecturing in Taipei.

Ina From China

The Chen and von Steinitz families met during the Boxer War in 1900, when German troops occupied Peking. At that time, a friend­ship developed between a German officer and his Chinese negotiant.

 

As a result, two generations later, a little girl could be brought to safety in Brandenburg. Chen Yinna was 7 years old, when she came to Germany in 1937, because Shanghai was under Japanese occupation.

But soon the war was to influence her life a second time -  with blackouts, air-raid warnings and refugees. Only years after the Second World War, Ina – as she was called in Germany – returned to her family. Barely able to speak Chinese and feeling completely disconnected to her native culture, she had to struggle a second time to settle down.

 

This extraordinary novel is based on a real biography and recounts the difficulties Ina faced acclimatising, as well as details of everyday life as experienced by a young foreigner in a small town in Nazi-Germany between 1937 and 1944.

 

Although the events are true, the characters have been fictionalised to some extent for artistic reasons.

Bibliographic Data
304 pages, ISBN: 978-3-423-62673-6
First published 2017