Since June 2003 Xinran has been writing about China in her weekly column in the Guardian. She has covered a vast range of topics from food to sex education, and from the experiences of British mothers who have adopted Chinese daughters, to whether Chinese people do Christmas shopping or have swimming pools.
Each of her columns inspired letters and questions and more opportunities for Xinran to shed light on the culture of her native land. What the Chinese Don't Eat collects these pieces together for the first time to give one unique Chinese woman's perspective on the connections and differences between the lives of British and Chinese people today.
Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958 and was a successful journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London, where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women's lives, The Good Women of China. Since then she has written a regular column for the Guardian; appeared frequently on radio and TV and has published the acclaimed Sky Burial; the novel Miss Chopsticks; the groundbreaking book of oral history China Witness; a book of her Guardian columns called What the Chinese Don't Eat and Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, about mothers and their lost daughters. She lives in London but travels regularly to China.