China has 130 million migrant workers—the largest migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing,…
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Why read it?
3 authors picked Factory Girls as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
A portrait of some of the millions of workers who toil in factories in southern China, most of whom are young women. They leave behind their families and work long hours for little money in boring, repetitive assembly line jobs, making mobile phones, toys, purses and other items for the rest of the world. The realities and challenges for the young women behind the goods we buy daily make this a compelling read.
China’s remarkable economic rise was powered by the tens of millions of young migrants who left their villages to work hundreds of miles away in the factory sweatshops along China’s southern coast. Many were young women who lived in dormitory-style buildings and put up with financial and sometimes sexual abuse. The women are the subject of this engrossing book by a former Wall Street Journal reporter who follows their journeys. It’s hardly all dire. The cities offer freedom and opportunity too. (Interesting note: Hessler and Chang are married.)
China's economic miracle is based on millions of young village women who labor in the industrial zones along the coast. Chang's extensive interviews reveal the hidden hardships and intimate dreams of some factory women as they grew distant from their home villages. The rich stories show how rural women learn to be self-reliant and entrepreneurial in the city, learning new ways to work and love. They are not feminists in the Western sense but practical and resourceful in taking care of themselves in a tumultuous milieu. This book is a classic on rural women's unheralded contribution to China's rise as…
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