A Letter From the Publisher: Jun. 8, 1987

News quickly becomes history, and over the years TIME has tried to capture / historical perspective through the recollections of noteworthy figures who influence the events we report. Among the authors whose chronicles have appeared in these pages: Anwar Sadat, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, Alexander Haig and Dissident Elena Bonner, the wife of Physicist Andrei Sakharov. This week TIME's cover story, a lengthy excerpt from Chinese Author Nien Cheng's Life and Death in Shanghai, is a memoir of a very different kind. History will record not that the author shaped large events but that she simply survived to write a gripping...