Bend, Not Break

Bend, Not Break

A Life in Two Worlds

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781591846819
  • 288 Pages
  • Portfolio
  • Adult


Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping Fu was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 and a few phrases of English.

Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new homeland. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought she’d be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader.

“She tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending.”
The Wall Street Journal

“This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Her success at the American Dream is a real triumph.”
The New York Post


“She tells her story with intelligence, verve and a candor that is often heart-rending….Her life story is moving and inspiring. Like the people who gave her a helping hand, she is generous to share it with us.”
The Wall Street Journal

“In this outstanding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Ping takes readers on a journey both heartbreaking and inspiring . . . Ping’s eloquent prose and remarkable attitude shine through in every word.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
“An inspiring story . . . the book reflects the tone of its author: clear, honest and unassuming.”
 “This well-written tale of courage, compassion, and undaunted curiosity reveals the life of a genuine hero who remains committed to making the world a better place.”
BOOKLIST (starred review)
“This is an utterly unique memoir, a fascinating look at one woman’s journey from a difficult childhood in Mao’s China to the top of the American tech world.”
—TONY HSIEH, CEO of; author of Delivering Happiness
“Do not read this book if you reject kindness, humility, and ingenuity. With staggering authenticity and zero cliché, Ping’s story will shock you to your core. Your notion of human capacity will be redefined. It’s Rocky, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Gone With the Wind—all in one.”
—SALLY ROSENTHAL, executive producer of the documentary Between the Folds
“There are few people in our world who embody optimism like Ping Fu. She shows us how the human spirit can endure amazing hardship to find happiness, joy, and astounding success.”
—SIMON SINEK, author of Start with Why
“I could not put this book down. From surviving the insanity of China’s Cultural Revolution to the cutthroat antics of hi-tech venture capitalism, from low-life outcast to billionaire dealer—it’s amazing to believe this all happened in one person’s life. The lessons Ping Fu has so artfully accumulated are inspiring, heartening, educating, and entertaining.”
—KEVIN KELLY, Senior Maverick, Wired; author of What Technology Wants
“Resilience is the most essential element of life and business today, and there is no more shining role model for resilience (and grace and humility and a bunch of other qualities) than Ping Fu. The story of how she fled China under precarious circumstances, made a new life in the United States, and built a vibrant company should be required reading.”
—CHIP CONLEY, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality; author of Peak and Emotional Equations
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