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Chinese Cinderella Time Line

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by

Lauren Yu

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Chinese Cinderella Time Line

The Life of Adeline Yen Mah
Autumn 1941
In the first week of kindergarten, Adeline gets an award from Mother Agnes at her school for being the top of the class.
Adeline wins the International Play-Writing Competition for her play, "Gone With the Locusts" at the age of 14. It was dedicated to Ye Ye, and it was the first time a local Chinese student won. The competition was for students all over the English-speaking world, and yet Adeline-who could barely speak English-won. This convinces Father to let Adeline go to college in England.
Adeline wins the Children's Writing Competition of the Shanghai Newspaper Association.
Adeline is given her duckling, PLT, who becomes her best friend-besides Wu Chen-Mei, the most athletic girl in school-and who she loves dearly. Father wants to see how well their new dog, Jackie, is being trained, so he lets him loose on PLT. The duckling is dead.
Adeline is elected her class president at Shengxin Primary School. Her friends come over to celebrate, but Niang disapproves and slaps her. Adeline's friends now know the truth about her family.
Adeline is sent away to a boarding school in Tianjin called St. Joshep's because she exposed her "family's ugliness" to her friends. She is separated from her aunt (most likely on purpose because Niang blamed Baba for Adeline's behavior). Students are slowly leaving due to the communists' approach towards Tianjin. By December, she is the only student at St. Joseph's.
Late September-December 1948
Niang's sister, Reine Schilling, comes to take Adeline to Hong Kong. She feels like she is actually
accepted and that she belongs when she's with the Schillings.
Victor and Claudine, the kids, treat her as their equal.
1941
1948
In Hong Kong, Niang enrolls Adeline in Sacred Heart Convent School and Orphanage. She is one of the smartest girls there, and her writing pieces are always picked over Monica's, the top girl, who happens to be three years older than Adeline. Here, she writes a play called "Gone With the Locusts" for a competition and dedicates it to Ye Ye for believing in her more than anyone.
March 1952
Adeline's grandfather, Ye Ye, dies. He was the only one, besides aunt Baba, who knew she was special and that she would go far.
September 22, 1952
Adeline receives a letter from her aunt Baba-whom she hasn't seen for years-telling her of the story of a girl who was mistreated and unwanted by her step-mother, much like Adeline. They called her Chinese Cinderella.
Full transcript