Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China

Leslie T. Chang, Author . Spiegel & Grau $26 (420p) ISBN 978-0-385-52017-1

Chang, a former Beijing correspondent for the Wall Street Journal , explores the urban realities and rural roots of a community, until now, as unacknowledged as it is massive—China’s 130 million workers whose exodus from villages to factory and city life is the largest migration in history. Chang spent three years following the successes, hardships and heartbreaks of two teenage girls, Min and Chunming, migrants working the assembly lines in Dongguan, one of the new factory cities that have sprung up all over China. The author’s incorporation of their diaries, e-mails and text messages into the narrative allows the girls—with their incredible ambition and youth—to emerge powerfully upon the page. Dongguan city is itself a character, with talent markets where migrants talk their way into their next big break, a lively if not always romantic online dating community and a computerized English language school where students shave their heads like monks to show commitment to their studies. A first generation Chinese-American, Chang uses details of her own family’s immigration to provide a vivid personal framework for her contemporary observations. A gifted storyteller, Chang plumbs these private narratives to craft a work of universal relevance. (Oct. 7)

Reviewed on: 08/25/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Pick of the Week
Open Ebook - 223 pages - 978-0-385-52852-8
Paperback - 431 pages - 978-0-385-52018-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4045-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-60847-629-9
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-330-50670-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1045-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6045-7
Paperback - 431 pages - 978-0-330-44736-2
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-330-44731-7
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