我朋友现在的名字是Jun Z. Miller，从这第三个名字上可以捕捉到她自身生活的变化。读到这里你大概已经知道Z意味着什么，它出现在英文字母表的末尾，然而又象征着她的故事的开始。希望你能像我一样喜欢她写的故事。
Tom Cooney (俞天睦)，《电影之外的美国》序言作者，书中篇目《两个生日一天过》的主人公，曾任职于美国驻北京大使馆新闻文化处；美国驻上海领事馆领事和公共事务总监；美国驻香港和澳门副总领事；现任美国驻阿根廷执行大使。2010年任职上海期间，他带领他的团队促成美国参加上海世博会，并出任上海世博会美国馆的副总代表。
You never know when you will touch a life. You never know when a single encounter can lead to a decades-long friendship,to a leap across oceans, to a child whose name carries the promise of two great countries,to this very book in your hands.
I met Zhang Jun in 1997 when I was a junior diplomat stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, eager to build ties of mutual understanding between my country and China. She was an earnest writer for the movie channel at China Central Television and had a strong curiosity to learn more about the United States. We entered a meeting room as new professional contacts and departed it as kindred spirits. Our interests converged and ultimately helped her become a visiting scholar in the United States. From there, life took its course, and this one-time Hollywood movie reviewer from the most ancient of civilizations patiently grew roots in the New World and found a passion for telling America’s story "Outside the Movies."
Only later did we discover that her April 11 and my April 12 birthday coincide perfectly whenever I am located in her birth country and she is in mine, a kind of shared leap day in defiance of all calendars. Only later did I discover that Zhang Jun hails from Qufu in eastern China, the birthplace of Confucius, one of the greatest teachers of all time. Like the great sage himself, her parents were also educators. And like her parents,Zhang Jun has become an educator, too. I have been learning from her about China and about friendship since 1997, and I consider this book to be another text in a long line of valuable texts with roots in Qufu.
The finest storytellers about a society often come from beyond its borders. One of the greatest observers of American life was the 19th-century French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville. His seminal Democracy in America was written after travelling around the United States for just nine months. By contrast, Zhang Jun’s observations are steeped in 20 years of living in America, and she is able like few others to go right to the heart of what it is to be an American. Her own heart indelibly Chinese,she tells the story of her adopted country not only with the affinity of a true admirer but also with the exacting eye of a Chinese family member who demonstrates affection through loving criticism.
Indeed, Zhang Jun has embraced America as her extended family. The characters in this book come alive like family. After starting her own family with an American husband, she went even further and invested her hopes of cross-cultural understanding in the next generation by naming her only child Amerina, a name that stretches across the Pacific to bind two countries.
Nor was this Zhang Jun’s first foray into the art of name-giving. Not satisfied with the first Chinese-language name selected for me by an early Chinese instructor, I turned to Zhang Jun to rechristen me in Chinese. She thought carefully for a week and returned to me with the perfect name that has drawn the admiration of many Chinese acquaintances ever since. It recalls not only the English phonetic sounds of Tom but also features beautiful written characters that convey a meaning of harmony under heaven. An auspicious name indeed for a budding diplomat!
My friend is now known as Jun Z. Miller, a third act of naming that captures her own personal transformation. But you know what the Z is for now. It comes at the end of the English alphabet, but it symbolizes the very beginning of her story. I hope you also enjoy it.
In appreciation of Zhang Jun, her parents in China, and her family in America,
Tom Cooney 俞天睦
Tom Cooney(俞天睦), author of the preface, the subject of "Two Birthdays On The Same Day" in this collection, has variously served as Press Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the Consulate and the Director of Public Affairs in Shanghai, and the Deputy Consul General of the US Consulate General for Hong Kong and Macau, is currently the Acting Ambassador of the United States in Argentina. During his term of service in Shanghai in 2010, he led his Pavilion team to promote the United States to participate in the Shanghai World Expo and served as Deputy Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.
章珺(Jun Z Miller)，旅美作家，江苏苏州人，生于山东曲阜，曾在北京读书、工作十年，现定居美国华盛顿。