Read "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China by Lijia Zhang Free Online
Book Title: "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China|
The author of the book: Lijia Zhang
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Reader ratings: 6.4
Date of issue: April 17th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780977743377
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 330 KB
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Lijia Zhang worked as a teenager in a factory producing missiles designed to reach North America, queuing every month to give evidence to the "period police" that she wasn't pregnant. In the oppressive routine of guarded compounds and political meetings, Zhang's disillusionment with "The Glorious Cause" drove her to study English, which strengthened her intellectual independence—from bright, western-style clothes, to organizing the largest demonstration by Nanjing workers in support of the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. By narrating the changes in her own life, Zhang chronicles the momentous shift in China's economic policy: her factory, still an ICBM manufacturer, won the bid to cast a giant bronze Buddha as the whole country went mad for profit.
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I am a rocket-factory-worker turned writer and social commentator. I grew up at a worker’s residential compound in Nanjing, on the bank of Yangtze River. Excelling at school, I dreamed of going to university and becoming a journalist and a writer. But at 16, I was taken out of school and put to work at my mother’s factory that produced inter-continental missiles, capable of reaching North America. Bored to death from greasing machine parts, I sought escape and enlightenment in reading and writing and began to teach myself English.
After a decade at the factory, I managed to leave China for England where my childhood dream stirred. I studied journalism. When I returned to China three years later, I started my career by assisting foreign correspondents before becoming a journalist myself.
In 1999, I co-authored China Remembers, a well-received history of contemporary China for Oxford University Press, which whetted my appetite for book writing.
My memoir “Socialism is Great!”: A Worker’s Memoir of New China was first published by Atlas and Co. in spring 2008 and then by Random House in May, 2009. It has been translated into various languages around the world and met with wide critical acclaim.
Inspired by the revelation from my grandma on her deathbed, I went on to write the novel Lotus. It follows a young prostitute in Shenzhen, known as ‘China’s capital of sins’. For me, prostitution is just an interesting widow to observe social tensions brought by the reforms and opening up police in recent decades, such as the rural-urban divide, the growing gender inequality and the tug of war between the tradition and the modernity.
Based in Beijing, I am one of the few Chinese writers and social commentators who write in English for international publications.