I was born with the reporter’s gene. It’s all I ever wanted to do from the time I was in high school and listening to a young local radio reporter named Andrea Mitchell (yes, that Andrea Mitchell) interviewing my father about soaring health-care costs. I had the good fortune of working for one of the finest newspapers in the business, The Philadelphia Inquirer, but always as a reporter, never an editor. Reporters had more fun. There’s nothing like the rush of a big breaking story. I worked as a correspondent in New York, Washington, D.C., and Beijing. 

 

My son and daughter were tots when I told them, “We’re moving to China!” They thought Beijing was somewhere west of Philadelphia on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. My husband, Bill Stieg, uprooted his own career and we traded in our Ford station wagon for Flying Pigeon bicycles. I reported from all over Asia—Hong Kong during the city’s 1997 handover; Jakarta during the fall of President Suharto; Taiwan during tension with China. But of all the news and issues I covered, the assignment that captivated me the most was the one right in front of me, the story of my Chinese family. 

About the Author

Jennifer Lin and her son, Karl, and daughter, Cory, in Hong Kong in             1997.

Courtesy of Jennifer Lin.

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