Year 4, Book 40

40. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
This book was not really what I expected. The author of the book spent several years interviewing and creating relationships (or at least trying to as it was hard to keep in contact with many of the girls as they were constantly moving and changing jobs) with girls working in factories in the Dongguan area of China. I expected the book to concentrate on the horrid working and living conditions of the girls, but it didn’t. It did mention those things to a degree, but they were really ancillary to the story. She really used the stories of the girls she met to construct a cultural story about how things have changed in China from the older, rural generations to this new, independent younger generation. She also interweaves the history of her family in the story, which fell rather flat for me. I found most of the chapters that concentrated on her family’s experience in China to be boring. I did enjoy the rest of the book though, and found it gave me a completely different perspective on the factory workers in China. At just over 400 pages it looks like a lengthy book, but the print is large and I got through it much quicker than I was anticipating. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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