The Red Sandals by Jing Li

Presented: February 2017

Jing Li is originally from China, where she was a high school English teacher before she came to the United States in 1989 and earned her Master’s degree/ Education in 1990. 

After twenty years as a public high school teacher of Mandarin Chinese in San Francisco, Jing Li is now a writer in English, her second language.

Her book/memoir: The Red Sandals, from China’s Red Stone Bridge to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 San Francisco Writing Contest. 

Born an unwanted girl into China’s second-class citizen of peasantry in starvation, filth, and illiteracy, Jing Li survived the world’s worst manmade famine, neglect and abuse, crippling diseases and brushing death multiple times as a small child. 

Defying all odds, she competed her way into China’s best foreign language university in Beijing, and finally made her way to America as the runaway number one winner out of hundreds of high school English teachers in Shanxi Province.

She has also won the First Place in 2015 Memoir Contest / Redwood Writers of California Writers Club; the 2014 True Grit Award / Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference; the Second Place / Nonfiction 2007 Jack London Writers Contest / California Writers Club.

Besides being published in Chinese before coming to America, Jing Li has also been published in the following anthologies:

Magic of Memoir / SheWritesPress 2016
Healdsburg and Beyond! / Healdsburg Literary Guild 2016
Untold Stories – From the Deep Part of the Well / Redwood Writers 2016
Journeys – On the Road & Off the Map / Redwood Writers 2015
Reflections – ultra short personal narratives / CoCo Harris 2015
Water / Redwood Writers 2014

A passionate classroom teacher with compassion for kids, Jing Li has recently completed her 300-page manuscript of Basic Mental Math for Kids. 

Her dream plan in the nearest future is to teach America’s young kids to add, subtract, multiply and divide in their head and calculate everyday dollars and cents without using a calculator, so they ‘ll at least know how to balance their checkbooks when they grow up.

Jing Li lives in San Francisco. She enjoys cooking, grocery shopping, walking/jogging in the City’s beautiful, lung-cleansing, cool fog. She’s also passionate about both domestic and international affairs, culture, schools, kids, and dogs!