Fran Martens Friesen co-writes book on teaching in China

Fran Martens Friesen, M.A. associate professor of English and writing program coordinator and Mary Ann Zehr have published the book Doors Cracked Open: Teaching in a Chinese Closed City.

“In their memoir, two American Mennonite women share stories of how they connected with students at a medical college in Sichuan, China, in the mid-1980s,” according to a statement from publisher Resource Publications, an imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. “Their host city, Luzhou, had been designated a ‘closed city,’ which meant that foreigners could not visit it without special permission. Fran and Mary Ann were initially escorted whenever they left the campus. Even though they eventually were able to roam the city, their interactions with Chinese people were always scrutinized. Still, by hosting English conversation parties, taking taiji lessons, interacting with students in the classroom, meeting people on walks, and going on outings, the teachers made meaningful connections. Educational, cross-cultural exchanges such as the one Fran and Mary Ann participated in suggest a path forward for easing tensions between the United States and China today.”

Mary Ann Zehr is the writing program director for Eastern Mennonite University. She has been a journalist for Education Week and a public high school teacher.

There will be a reading and book signing Wednesday, March 27, at 3:00 p.m. in Hiebert Library on the main FPU campus.

The book is available at Wipf and Stock Doors Cracked Open- Wipf and Stock Publishers and Doors Cracked Open: Teaching in a Chinese Closed City: Zehr, Mary Ann, Martens Friesen, Fran, Byler, Myrrl: 9781666788808: Books





Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations