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2012/07/08

6 New Books about China every China-Lover can't miss


-They all look good! 
The Chinese Worker after Socialism
This book was first published in 2009. While millions in China have been advantaged by three decades of reform, impressive gains have also produced social dislocation. Groups that had been winners under socialism find themselves losers in the new order. Based on field research in nine cities across China, this fascinating study considers the fate of one such group - 35 million workers laid off from the state-owned sector. The book explains why these lay-offs occurred, how workers are coping with unemployment, what actions the state is taking to provide them with livelihoods and re-employment, and what happens when workers mobilize collectively to pursue redress of their substantial grievances. What happens to these people, the remnants of the socialist working class, will be critical in shaping post-socialist politics and society in China and beyond.

To be Published: July 19, 2012

Farm Animals and Pets: The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Painting

Animals are an intrinsic part of the human experience. Artistically, as a major genre in Chinese painting, they also provide abundant inspirations. With clear instructions and illustrations in beautiful colors, The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Painting—Farm Animals and Pets introduces the techniques needed to paint cats, dogs, rabbits, roosters, ducks, pigs, goats, cattle and horses. This book is an easy-to-use guide for the newcomers who are interested in animal painting in Chinese tradition. With hundreds of illustrations in beautiful colors, and a wide selection of templates and styles, this is a must-have guide for those new to Chinese brush painting. 

To be Published:  September 20, 2012

Chinese Silks (The Culture & Civilization of China)

Over the past fifty years, archaeological explorations in China have unearthed a wealth of textile materials, some dating as far back as five thousand years. In this magnificently researched and illustrated book, preeminent Western and Chinese scholars draw upon these spectacular discoveries to provide the most thorough account of the history of silk ever written.

Encyclopedic in breadth, the volume presents a chronological history of silk from a variety of perspectives, including archaeological, technological, art historical, and aesthetic. The contributors explore the range of uses for silk, from the everyday to the sublime. By directly connecting recently found textile artifacts to specific references in China's vast historical literature, they illuminate the evolution of silk making and the driving social forces that have inspired the creation of innovative textiles through the millennia.

To be Published:  September 25, 2012

  The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future

Glossy television images of happy, industrious, and increasingly prosperous workers show a bright view of life in twenty-first-century China. But behind the officially approved story is a different reality. Preparing this book Gerard Lemos asked hundreds of Chinese men and women living in Chongqing, an industrial mega-city, about their wishes and fears. The lives they describe expose the myth of China's harmonious society. Hundreds of millions of everyday people in China are beleaguered by immense social and health problems as well as personal, family, and financial anxieties—while they watch their communities and traditions being destroyed.

Lemos investigates a China beyond the foreigners' beaten track. This is a revealing account of the thoughts and feelings of Chinese people regarding all facets of their lives, from education to health care, unemployment to old age, politics to wealth. Taken together, the stories of these men and women bring to light a broken society, one whose people are frustrated, angry, sad, and often fearful about the circumstances of their lives. The author considers the implications of these findings and analyzes how China's community and social problems threaten the ambitious nation's hopes for a prosperous and cohesive future. Lemos explains why protests will continue and a divided and self-serving leadership will not make people's dreams come true.

To be Published:  July 30, 2012

Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land

An artist paints landscapes of faraway places that she cannot identify in order to find her place in the global economy. A migrant worker sorts recyclables and thinks deeply about the soul of his country, while a Taoist mystic struggles to keep his traditions alive. An entrepreneur capitalizes on a growing car culture by trying to convince people not to buy cars. And a 90-year-old woman remembers how the oldest neighborhoods of her city used to be. These are the exciting and saddening, humorous and confusing stories of utterly ordinary people who are living through China's extraordinary transformations. The immense variety in the lives of these Chinese characters dispels any lingering sense that China has a monolithic population or is just a place where dissidents fight Communist Party loyalists and laborers create goods for millionaires.

Chinese Characters is a collection, as Pankaj Mishra writes in his foreword, "to herald a new golden age of journalism about a ceaselessly fascinating country." Contributors include a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a Macarthur Fellow, the China correspondent to a major Indian newspaper, and scholars whose depth of understanding is matched only by the humanity with which they treat their subjects. Their stories together create a multi-faceted portrait of a country in motion and an introduction to some of the best writing on China today.

Contributors include: Alec Ash, James Carter, Leslie T. Chang, Xujun Eberlein, Harriet Evans, Anna Greenspan, Peter Hessler, Ian Johnson, Ananth Krishnan, Christina Larson, Michelle Dammon Loyalka, James Millward, Evan Osnos, Jeffrey Prescott, Megan Shank, with cover photos by Howard French


To be Published:  September 13, 2012

A Chinese Life

A Chinese Life is an astonishing graphic novel set against the backdrop of the creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This distinctively drawn work chronicles the rise and reign of Chairman Mao Zedong, and his sweeping, often cataclysmic vision for the most populated country on the planet.

Though the storyline is epic, the storytelling is intimate, reflecting the real life of the book’s artist. Li Kunwu spent more than 30 years as a state artist for the Communist Party. He saw firsthand what was happening to his family, his neighbors, and his homeland during this extraordinary time. Working with Philippe Ôtié, the artist has created a memoir of self and state, a rich, very human account of a major historical moment with contemporary consequences. Mao said, “The masses are the real heroes,” but A Chinese Life shows those masses as real people.
More about the cartoonist!

To be Published: September 1, 2012


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