Ramona McKean, in Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon, makes a truly great and important statement, not just about China but about the human race. She understands that our grandchildren’s future depends largely on understanding between Chinese and Westerners. Her gripping story powerfully reveals why and how this understanding is possible. The outlook on life, the philosophy is tremendous, shared with simple, direct, honest eloquence, no tricks, no holds barred, no preaching. When all is said and done, at the end of the day it’s about having a good heart. Ramona has a good heart. I am proud to support her story.
Sidney Rittenberg, author of The Man Who Stayed Behind, journalist, scholar, Chinese linguist, Professor of China Studies at Pacific Lutheran University, and subject of the documentary The Revolutionary
Rarely does a book come along that changes the way I view the world. Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon is one of those books. This miraculous true story of survival from a head-on crash in China inspires me with hope for healing on a global scale. I felt like I was taken into Ramona’s own heart and mind when she touchingly portrayed the people she met in China, especially her caregivers. I felt like my heart and mind were united also with theirs. Through her experiences, Ramona McKean has helped me both to understand China better and to see China in a new and more respectful light.
This is a good thing when I consider China’s growing influence. I feel a new spirit of friendship for our big neighbour across the sea. Perhaps you’ll feel the same when you read Ramona’s timely and inspirational story.
Bobby O’Neal (aka. Dr Love), author of Dr. Love’s Prescription for a Romantic Loving Man, and creator of Syncrohearts Board Game
A good memoir is a glimpse into a soul. Ramona McKean has given us more than a glimpse in Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon. She lays bare her tragic experience in China that almost cost her life. Through journal and recollection, she allows us to follow her journey through a new door to an amazing future.
John Shields, author of The Priest Who Left His Religion
–In Pursuit of Cosmic Spirituality
Ramona is a brilliant story teller with a remarkable story – a true hero’s journey. Make sure you don’t start reading at bedtime or you will be up all night! A powerful story of one woman, two countries and a heart that learns to embrace both.
Junie Swadron, author of Re-Write Your Life
Ramona McKean’s writing is gripping. Her experience takes place in a far and strange land, in a space between life and death, when she meets with an accident and has no choice except to trust that an invisible force and Chinese strangers will rescue and take care of her. Her life was immersed with theirs in zero distance. That stark experience gave Ramona a special chance to know China and Chinese people from a very different perspective. Her survival is like a Chinese saying: The phoenix was burned to nothing and then rose again to the high. If you are going to China or you are just interested in China generally, this memoir is a good choice to read! You will learn a great deal vicariously and be touched too.
Hongchen Wang, author of Cherished Chinese Proverbs: A Bilingual Retelling of Ancient Tales
In Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon, Ramona McKean focuses on her friendships with members of the new generation of Chinese, the transitional generation, who help her to understand China’s culture through idioms. Surviving a tragic accident also gives her a unique perspective that enables her to touch contemporary China’s pulse closer than many other Western writers. I believe that Ramona knows the problems the Chinese government and society are facing, and she believes that pointing a finger at China is not going to make things better. A positive approach with new understanding will help to solve present problems. Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon is a story of courage, inspiration and that new kind of understanding.
Kefen Zhou, author, journalist, translator, former editor of the Shenzhen
Economic Daily and former instructor of Chinese
literature at the University of Victoria
Ramona McKean and I have been friends since meeting in Harbin in 2004. When I hold her book Dancing in the Heart of the Dragon in my hands I feel deeply moved, as I know how much love and effort she put into writing it. Although Ramona had a terrible accident in China, what I see in her book is not hatred nor complaints, but love for her students and for the people she met, also an eagerness to share, to learn about China and to bridge misunderstanding between our different cultures. I also see how much work we Chinese people need to do with, for instance, our health care system, emergency response and environmental education so that we can catch up with the developed world in ways not only technological. In Ramona’s book I have found a wise, caring and beautiful soul rising from the flames of a deadly accident. I am inspired and encouraged to pass her love, care and understanding on.
Songhe Wang, PhD, linguistics professor, Heilongjiang University, Harbin, China
Ramona McKean has helped me to see my Chinese heritage from a new perspective. Her memoir rings truer than a research-based cultural study. It’s so enlightening that I believe anyone reading it will come away with a far greater understanding of China, its culture and people.
Xin Meng, translator/interpreter, foreign correspondent
Confucius spoke of maintaining an “empty heart” (unprejudiced mind) in the pursuit of knowledge. Ramona McKean has done this wholeheartedly. She shares what she learned about China with passion and provides an interesting and refreshing perspective through her Western eyes.
Thomas Leung, president, Victoria Canada-China Friendship Association
I have known the author of this book for 30 years and can vouch for the courage, fortitude and deep faith that has given guidance to her amazing story. The accident that crushed her body and could have stolen her soul…did not. She not only was aware that something out of the ordinary had happened to her but also that an underlying significance to the event would reveal itself over time. This is a read that opens us to raw emotion and the beauty of the human heart and soul when we experience a connection between ourselves and the “Other” on the road less traveled.
Rene Robinson, author’s mentor and friend
This book takes the reader into the heart of China – its culture, daily life, spirituality and best of all, its young people. Through the eyes of Ramona McKean, a non-judgemental Canadian English teacher and traveller, an amazing true story is told, of healing friendships and an accident, which forces her to leave a country she has begun to love. Using the love and spiritual truths gained from her experiences in China, the author shares her early physical healing by means of memories, dreams and journal excerpts. It is an honest, deep and tremendously interesting read. A great book for book clubs and discussion groups as well.
Janet Ralph, editor
This book really looks into the heart of the writer and into the heart of Chinese culture. As she learns about China, she learns about herself and the life transforming accident she has shows the heights of human compassion and how bridges can be built across cultures. Definitely a worthwhile book to read.
Unidentified Amazon customer