Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World

Zak Dychtwald. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-07881-0
Debut author Dychtwald, who heads the China office of the Dilenschneider Group consulting firm, delves into the trends and culture of Chinese youths to explore how modern-day China is evolving into a more open and inclusive society. Penetrating the world of Chinese millennials (defined here as those born between 1984 and 2002), Dychtwald touches on their famously demanding study practices through an interview with a graduate-school applicant who spends nearly 90 hours weekly studying for an entrance exam. Dychtwald’s own experience teaching English to kindergarteners brings him into contact with China’s “little emperors”—the young products of the Chinese one-child policy who are simultaneously coddled and pressured to succeed. Other trend-based neologisms reported in the book include the delightfully strange “parent eaters”—those who rely on parental support well into adulthood—and the heartbreaking “leftover woman”—an unmarried woman over 27 years old. A mother overheard admonishing her daughter crystallizes lingering conservative attitudes toward marriage and romance: “Dating not for the sake of marriage is hooliganism!” Dychtwald also examines Chinese youths’ retail habits, growing tolerance toward homosexuality, and views on democracy, censorship, and the Communist Party. It’s a richly informative and surprisingly intimate portrait of a side of China unknown to most Westerners. Agent: Elizabeth Kaplan, Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency Inc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/23/2017
Release date: 02/13/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
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