Helene Chung Homepage
Helene Chung, a former ABC Beijing correspondent, was the first non-white reporter on Australian TV and the first female posted abroad by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. A fourth-generation Tasmanian Chinese, she is the author of Shouting from China, Gentle John My Love My Loss, Lazy Man in China and, her most recent memoir, Ching Chong China Girl - now also published as an e-book.
'a must read', David Robert, Amazon, 9/2/12
Listen to Helene on letters in her books, ABC Overnights, 5/12/12
Shanghai Images 2013 on Facebook
Helene Chung on Facebook
Listen to Helene on China, Media Report ABC 28/9/12
Helene's 'This (monolingual) life' in The Australian, 1/10/11
Helene's Comment: Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo for Oslo?
Listen to Helene's talk on Ockham's Razor, ABC 6/12/09
Ching Chong China Girl
From fruitshop to foreign correspondent
In the tradition of Amy Tan, Ching Chong China Girl is a hilarious and bittersweet memoir of growing up different in a very eccentric but traditional Chinese family in Tasmania.
Warning: Not to be read by convent girls not wearing their gloves.
‘Ching Chong Chinaman’ girls taunted Helene Chung in her Catholic school playground. An Australian-born Chinese growing up in 1950s Tasmania, Helene not only dealt with being different from her blonde-haired, blue-eyed classmates but suffered the shame of having divorced parents. And she kept a shocking secret – her mother, Miss Henry, was a nude model, who also lived in sin with a foreign devil and drove a red MG.
Surviving the embarrassment of childhood, Helene discovered the thrill of the theatre, fell into journalism and travelled the world. She became the first non-white reporter on Australian TV and the first female posted abroad by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Ching Chong China Girl is a memoir filled with honesty, humour, love and loss, and gives insight into life that traverses cultures East and West.
Lazy Man in China
Lazy Man in China is the story of China over two decades — its transition from Old Communism to New Capitalism — intertwined with the love story between Helene and her late partner, John Martin. John is the self-dubbed lazy man employed at the Australian Embassy in Beijing. His witty, perceptive, self-deprecating letters to family and friends have inspired a book interwoven with ninety colour photographs of China past and present.
John’s death from cancer prompted Helene’s emotional outpouring in Gentle John My Love My Loss. Her first book is an objective reporter's account of life as a foreign correspondent, Shouting from China.
Born in Hobart, Helene is the great-granddaughter of a Chinese miner who, like many others labouring for years in the Tasmanian tin fields, became an opium addict.
An honours graduate and Master of Arts in history, she has reported for radio and television in Australia, for radio from Britain, China, Egypt and Hong Kong, and freelanced for the BBC, CBS, NZBC and Hong Kong radio.
Helene is an engaging speaker on China, her life as an Australian-born Chinese from the age of assimilation to the era of multiculturalism, and her experience of love and loss.
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All material © 2013 Helene Chung. All rights reserved. helenechung.com
Pronunciation: He-lane and Chung as in hung