Monday, May 6, 2013

Broken Fact: Fu Ping's First Marriage and Love Stories

The Original Story:
On Page 95 of Bend, Not Break, Fu Ping felt sorry for herself after starting her first professional job at Bell Labs in 1988:
I was almost thirty years old and had no personal life. It had been more than five years since I'd landed in the United States, yet I still wondered, What was an American life exactly?
The Earlier Story:
From Pages 37 to 59 of her earlier autobiography Drifting Bottle, Fu Ping used an entire chapter detailing her love story while she was a student at University of New Mexico. She was torn between a Chinese Kaili (凯利) and an American Richard (理查德) and ended up leaving them both when she left Albuquerque for San Diego.

The Changed Story:
After questions were raised on how quickly she had obtained her green card, Fu Ping disclosed a secret to Didi Kirsten Tatlow of International Herald Tribune:

In an interview with the International Herald Tribune, she said, apparently for the first time, the reason she kept quiet was she was trying to protect her first husband, an American, whom she does not mention in her memoir. The marriage took place while she was living in California, she said.  
“I had a first marriage and that’s how I got my green card,” she said by telephone. She married on Sept. 1, 1986 and divorced three years later.
The Debunking:
It's not clear why Fu Ping felt the need to protect her first husband, who appeared to have passed away by the time she wrote the book.

The said marriage has since been confirmed, although it was doubtful if she was living in California at the time of marriage since she was still using a New Mexico address.

Bend, Not Break is supposed to be a book of the life struggle of an immigrant who achieved the American dream. As any immigrants knew, one of the hardest obstacles in this journey is to secure the residency. Fu Ping chose not to include this critical information in this book, leading to an obvious suspicion: was this marriage a green card fraud?

Remember, we are talking about an individual who had been honored by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as one of Outstanding Americans by Choice.

It was also not clear whether the Richar Lynn Ewald was the same "Richard" in Drifting Bottle. But it certainly does not appear that she had had no personal life in the five years since she landed in the US.


  1. The time table it’s a bit confusing. In BNB Ping Fu was born in May 1958, and came to U.S. on January 14, 1984. When she stated that “It had been more than five years since I’d landed in the United States” it should be January 1989 or later. However, by May 1988 Ping Fu was already 30 years old. Why she claimed that in 1989 she was only “almost thirty years old”?
    When did Ping Fu first arrive in the States? When was Ping Fu born?

  2. Is there any evidence for "...her first husband, who appeared to have passed away by the time she wrote the book"?

  3. Richard Ewald may still alive. Check out this web page:

    Richard Ewald, 68
    Boise, ID

    Richard L Ewald was born in 1945. Richard currently lives in Boise, Idaho. Before that, Richard lived in Salt Lake City, UT Before that, Richard lived in La Jolla, CA in 1987.

    In addition, no one has been able to locate the divorce certificate. Technically, Ping Fu may still marry to this Richard.

  4. Hi, Eddie,

    These two web pages show that Richard Lynn Ewald, 68 yrs old, currently lives in Boise, ID. He used to live in Layton, UT, La Jolla, CA, and La Mesa CA.