A Pearl

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.


  1. Randy Strauss says:

    Great tribute to a great woman. My uncle, Raymond Whitehead, was a missionary in China during the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared on the cover of Newsweek in the late 1960′s and co-authored a book on the Republic of China in the early 70s.

    • Randy, I hope you get this! My mother’s cousin, Raymond Whitehead, also a missionary in China during the 1960′s 1970′s. She has frequently talked about trying to find him. Is it possible for you to contact me. It sounds like we are talking about the same Raymond Whitehead!


  2. I hope everyone who reads this column also reads the PDF with the full interview. It is AMAZING, and it gives an account of a life I simply can’t fathom. The obsession, and hardship, and clash of cultures — the relationship between father and daughter, husband and wife, as they travel across continents and oceans — it’s beautiful and haunting. A life, a story, I never knew.

  3. On my family’s bookshelf in the fifties was an edition of The Good Earth with the fifth cover depicted in the Scribd interview. I remember picking up the volume and looking at the cover as a kid, but it wasn’t until high school that I finally read it. Asian culture had mostly been presented to me in a negative light–WWII, my father’s stint in Korea, and of course the Red Chinese. Reading this great story helped me understand the ordinary, everyday people of China, their enduring strength, humility, and family bonds. A classic.


  1. [...] the bones of little Chinese girls killed because of their gender and tell the world about it. This piece is a discovery of just how inspiring my ancestor was through the eyes of a recent [...]

  2. [...] was raised by Quaker pacifists. My mom’s parents were actually Presbyterian missionaries in China before returning to the U.S. and finding Quakerism. So my mom’s brother fought in World War II [...]

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