Sunday, August 12, 2012

A cool book to read on China

I read a book by Leslie T. Chang, titled Factory Girls - Voices from the Heart of Modern China.  Leslie Chang was a former Beijing correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, and this is the fruit of a lot of her personal primary research, directly interacting with the young girls who left their villages to become factory workers in Dongguan.  Dongguan is actually very close to Shenzhen, where I live now.

I have to say that this book is probably the most amazing work on China I've read to date.  Many things about people in China suddenly make sense to me now.

As well, the diary entry from one of the subjects in the book makes me understand women a lot better than I ever have.  At least, I think the actions of women make more sense to me now.  I think.  Hey, I'm still clueless.
April 1, 1994
Yes, I am a person so ordinary that I cannot be more ordinary, so plain that I cannot be plainer, a girl like all the other girls.  I like to eat snacks, I like to have fun, and I like to look pretty. 
Don't imagine that I can be superhuman. 
You are just a most ordinary, most plain girl, attracted to anything that is pretty or tasty or fun.
So from being ordinary and plain I will make my start.
From page 55, chapter 3 of Factory Girls, by Leslie T. Chang.
Honestly, I wanted to write a huge article about this book, in the context of the Foxconn controversy.  But I've never had the time.  Look, if you want to understand something about modern China, go read this book.  That's all I'll say for now, and maybe one day I'll finally get around to writing that article about what I got from this book.

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