The story of a woman whose love defied prejudice, war, and
With an Introduction by Charles Ruas.
In 1928, Grace Divine, daughter of a conservative Tennessee
family, traveled to New York City, accompanied by her
mother, to study opera. Liu Fu-chi, a scholarship student
studying engineering, lived in the same building. They met
and became friends. Only after he left for further study in
Germany did both realize they had fallen in love.
Fu-chi renounced his scholarship and returned to New York.
They became engaged. An interracial marriage was illegal in
Tennessee; her brothers came to intervene. Nonetheless, in
1932 at the height of the Depression, Grace and Fu-chi went
to City Hall and were married.
He left for China to look for a job. Pregnant, Grace stayed
behind. When the baby could travel, she joined Fu-chi in
Tientsin. She was to remain in China for the next forty
years, living through the Japanese Occupation, the fall of
the Nationalist government, and the Communist and Cultural
Revolutions, one of the handful of Americans to stay on.
This biography, composed in large part of Grace Liu's
letters and a partial memoir, has been compiled by her
cousin, Eleanor McCallie Cooper, and her surviving child,