Robin T.W. Yuan, author
RED BISHOP is a sweeping historical novel based on the extraordinary life of Robin Chen, the last Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in China. The book begins with his final, futile trip to a Shanghai hospital during the Cultural Revolution, lying in a wooden cart as blood seeps through his lips from gastric bleeding. The story flashes back to his consecration as an assistant bishop in the Western-dominated church and Japanese-occupied country poised to wrest themselves from foreign, especially British and American, influence. His journey from a Confucian, pre-Republic, mission schoolboy to one of China’s foremost Christian leaders weaves through key national and international events. Two years prior to the Communist takeover, he and his eldest daughter, Grace, travel to Philadelphia——she to enter medical school and he to receive an honorary degree. That would be the last time they see each other. The second half of the book relates life under Communist Party rule which forces the bishop to confront his loyalties to country, church, and family, while life as an immigrant in America forces Grace to confront the Red Scare of post-war McCarthyism. His involvement with accusations against the United States and Japan for committing germ warfare during the Korean war and denunciations against fellow Christians eventually earn him the label of a Red Bishop in the eyes of Westerners. His attempts to convince Grace to return to China to help serve the people clashes with her thriving life in a bountiful America. Their strained relationship plays out through actual letters between the two as his unwavering patriotism creates a pervasive sense guilt and frustration for Grace. Through this real life drama spanning two contrasting countries and cultures, one gains a deeper understanding of present-day China and its relationship with the West, and the human tragedies caused by international events more powerful than individuals.