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Factory Girls: From Village To City In A Changing China (2008)

by Leslie T. Chang(Favorite Author)
3.87 of 5 Votes: 1
0385520174 (ISBN13: 9780385520171)
Spiegel & Grau
review 1: This was an interesting book as it contained pieces of current day culture and life of China that I was not aware and that are so different then what we know in the United States. The author also delves into her Chinese past and the history of her family which is also very interesting. But, overall, the book was not the most well written and at times was a bit drawn out and felt like you were reading two separate books as the author did not blend the stories of past and present together very well. I wasn't a page turned but an interesting commentary on life in China now and in the past.
review 2: I really loved this book. It talks about workers, or more exactly, female migrant workers. In China, they are everywhere, on all construction sites, restaurants, ha
... moreirdressers, etc. They are the one filling the numerous factories supplying the world, and of which the world is so afraid of. They are the small hands that make the Chinese economical success. They are everywhere, but also so invisible. No one pays attention to them, and yet, there is so much to say about them, and that's what the author is doing.She did a real investigative work. She followed some of those girls for years and had the opportunity to see the changes and evolution in their lives. She was in the front row to observe the hard factory work, but also all the hope that it brought, as well as the family upheaval it brought.Indeed, what I mostly learned from this book, is that all those young girls leave their hometowns their minds filled with dreams and the hope of changing their lives. Life is hard for these girls, some of which haven't even reach majority. A lot have a very difficult time in the anonymous cities, some get trapped (prostitution). But for most, this change is a radical change is their lifestyle, and it is impossible for them to go back. Little by little, they manage to rise in the hierarchy, find husband outside of their hometowns (against their parents wishes), and mostly, they are the ones to bring back money home, reversing the traditional power balance in their families. The city and the factory are a first step to a modern lifestyle, that they hope will be better than what they knew in their villages. And despite all the difficulties encountered, they keep hope. The author doesn't try to insist on the unhealthy aspects of factory work, but tries to understand these girls. I was really touched by the fact that what seems horrible in our western eye represents the opportunity of their lifefor these girls. less
Reviews (see all)
An eye opening look at the people who make the goods we consume in the West
Only got up to page 284. Could not bear to read more.
Parts were interesting, but other parts weren't. DNF
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