From Village to City in a Changing China
Publication Date: December 2008
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As she tracks their lives, Chang paints a never-before-seen picture of migrant life a world where nearly everyone is under thirty; where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a mobile phone; and where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, movie theater, and fire department; to posh karaoke bars that are fronts for prostitution; to makeshift English classes where students shave their heads in monklike devotion and sit day after day in front of machines watching English words flash by; and back to a farming village for the Chinese New Year, revealing the poverty and idleness of rural life that drive young girls to leave home in the first place. Throughout this riveting portrait, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family's migrations, within China and to the West, providing historical and personal frames of reference for her investigation.
A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, "Factory Girls" demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America's shores remade our own country a century ago.
"Brilliant, thoughtful, and insightful." ---Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan