Hu, Hua-ling Wang 1938

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Born December 5, 1938, in China; naturalized U.S. citizen; daughter of Kai-ting (a military officer) and Shu-yen (a homemaker) Wang; married Chia-Lun Hu (a professor), 1965; children: Carl. Ethnicity: "Chinese American." Education: Tunghai University, B.A., 1959; University of Colorado at Boulder, M.A., 1962, Ph.D., 1971. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, walking, travel.


Home—Boulder, CO. E-mail—[email protected].


University of Colorado, Boulder, instructor, 1963-70; National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, associate professor, 1972-74; National Chung Hsin University, Taichung, Taiwan, associate professor, 1973; Tunghai University, Taichung, associate professor, 1973; University of Denver, Denver, CO, assistant professor, 1977-78; writer and editor, 1978—. Consultant to Research Center of the Nanjing Massacre, Nanjing Normal University, 2003—. Hu was featured in a television documentary special about Minnie Vautrin, produced in China, 2003.


Association of Asian Studies.


Chinese Literary and Arts Medal of Honor, biography category, Chinese Association of Literature and Arts, 1998, for Ginling Forever; nonfiction award, Southern Illinois Regional Writers Contest, 1985.


Fate of Destiny, Chiu Ko Publishing (Taipei, Taiwan), 1992.

(Under name Hu Hualing zhu) Ginling Forever: A Biographical Account of Miss Minnie Vautrin (in Chinese), Chiu Ko Publishing (Taipei, Taiwan), 1997, revised edition, People's Literature Publishing House, (Beijing, China), 2000, revised and expanded English version published (under name Hua-ling Hu) as American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 2000.

Ten Thousand Days of Laughter and Tears, Chiu Ko Publishing (Taipei, Taiwan), 1999.

Author of other material in Chinese, published under name Hu Hualing zhu. Contributor to anthologies, including Collection of Selected Articles of the Central Daily News' Literary Section, edited by Sun Ju Ling, Central Daily News (Taipei, Taiwan), 1971; and A Floating Milky Way, edited by Ya Hsun, Lian Chin Publishing (Taipei, Taiwan), 1990. Contributor to periodicals, including World, Weekly, World Journal, China Times Weekly, United Daily, Central Daily News, China Daily, China Weekly, Ramble, American Chinese Forum, Nineties, Journal of Studies of China's Resistance War against Japan, and Journal of Oriental Studies. Editor, Journal of Studies of Japanese Aggression against China, 1990-95.


Hua-ling Hu once told CA: "Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a novelist someday. Because of my parents' staunch opposition to permitting their eldest daughter to be a ‘starving writer’ and the grueling schedule of the Chinese education system, I had no courage or chance to test the water (turn my childhood dream into reality), even on a small scale. It was not until 1971, after I completed my doctorate in history at the University of Colorado and stayed home to nurture my toddler son, that I began to write short stories. I wrote mostly about the bittersweet experiences of the Chinese students who came to the States to pursue their dreams; their sufferings, paradoxes, loves, and successes became my favorite subjects. Although I only wrote off and on, I found self-fulfillment and satisfaction in writing, and I often cried and laughed with the characters I created in my stories.

"In 1991, one day, as I was doing research for a paper on the Rape of Nanking and reading the proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after World War II, I found an eye-catching written statement submitted to the tribunal by Mrs. Tsen Shui-fang, the director of dormitories of Ginling (Women's) College in Nanking during the Rape. In the statement, it claimed the Ginling campus was fortunate to have a ‘foreign lady in charge,’ Miss Vautrin, to protect the women refugees on the campus. Shortly thereafter, I read that Ko Chi, in his eyewitness account Blood and Tears: Records of the Fallen Capital, commented on how courageous an American professor at Ginling, Miss Huang, was to keep the Japanese soldiers from raping women refugees. It was not until I finished reading a four-page section on ‘Miss Hua’ in Hsu Chi-ken's book The Great Nanking Massacre: Testimonies of the Eyewitnesses that I realized Miss Vautrin, Miss Huang, and Miss Hua were the same person.

"I became interested in Miss Vautrin's life and developed respect for the unsung heroine. I wanted to tell the world about her heroic story and her eyewitness account of Chinese women's suffering during the Rape of Nanking. Subsequently I began my long quest for materials on Vautrin's life. I searched through eyewitness accounts or memories, documents, and writings by the authorities on the Rape. All I could find was a limited amount of material about Vautrin's protection of the Chinese women during that period, far from adequate to write an article. Then in 1994, on a most unexpected occasion, I learned that Vautrin's diary was deposited at Yale University and her niece, Mrs. Emma Lyon, was still alive. Finally I was able to acquire Vautrin's diary and correspondence, interview Mrs. Lyon, and visit Vautrin's birthplace, alma mater, and grave site. In April of 1997, the Chinese edition of my book was published by the reputable Chiu Ko Publishing Company in Taiwan and excerpted by the leading newspaper on the island, the United Daily. Response to the biography was overwhelming.

"After publication of the Chinese version of my book, many Americans and Chinese—from scholars to college students and housewives—told me that Miss Vautrin's story should be told to a large audience and encouraged me to translate it into English. Some of these were people I had not even met, but their encouragement moved me. So I wrote the English version with additional sources, such as the Chinese translation of Rabe's Diary (originally penned in German), American Missionary Eyewitnesses to the Nanking Massacre, edited by Martha Smalley, and The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang. I also added extensive materials on historical background and missionary activities in China. Further, Mrs. Lyon provided me with more valuable pictures of her aunt, Minnie Vautrin, for use in the English version.

"In April, 2000, the English version of my book was published. I hope my book will encourage more scholars to do further research on Miss Vautrin and other righteous foreigners who protected Chinese refugees during the Rape of Nanking. I wish the courage of Miss Vautrin will be remembered in the hearts of our generation and the hearts of our children and their children. I wish the Nanking holocaust will never repeat itself in any place on this earth."



Booklist, March 15, 2000, Mary Carroll, review of American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking: The Courage of Minnie Vautrin, p. 1295.

Library Journal, March 1, 2000, Steven I. Levine, review of American Goddess at the Rape of Nanking, p. 108.