Customer Reviews for

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted December 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    And I thought I had cell phone problems

    I loved this book. It was really interesting to hear about the young women leaving home to pursue a better life in China's industrial cities. It was nice for Leslie to show the contrast of their lives back home in their rural villages, compared to how they live life away from home in an urban environment. How they are able to change identities and how easy it is to lose track of someone if anything happens to their cellphone. Just shows how much of a migrant life these young women lead. I was surprised to learn that some of the factories were so large, that they had their own communities with housing, markets, and community areas such as parks and schools for migrant families. The book doesn't only focus on girls in factories, since there is a small chapter on bar girls and "working" girls. This book really makes me want to visit China and see the economic and physical changes taking place there. Great read and very interesting. I hope Leslie Chang writes another book soon.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    This is marvelous reporting, with a personal touch and a giganti

    This is marvelous reporting, with a personal touch and a gigantic scope. Chang checks out the greatest migration in world history--the 160 million-plus village job seekers who have flooded into China's urban industries. And most of these people, it seems, are just girls--leaving home, moving out, and moving up. Chang befriends some, sharing their stories of pounding the pavement between jobs, slaving 14-hour days, living in factory dorms, and constantly scheming for a better life. The schemes are the main things that drive the action. These girls are trying to teach themselves English, taking semi-bogus skills seminars, lying about their experience in job fairs, moving up to secretary or sales rep. Most of the girls Chang meets are lonely, justifiably paranoid, and fearsomely self-reliant. Their ambitions and desires are the real force driving China's transformation.

    Chang weaves in the story of her own family, with its earlier generations of pioneering migrants. I think this part of the book is a bit too long and detailed, but it helps set a wider context for the present drama. Her book is about migrants, their adventures, their courage, and the change they bring to the world. It's about people, not social trends. But along the way, Chang can't help but paint a big picture. And for me, several things stand out about modern China. One is that, unlike the cities of Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, or India, China's cities are not surrounded by migrant shantytowns. The factories mostly have prison-like dormitories for the migrants. Also, China's villages remain intact. The laws prevent landlords or moneylenders from evicting whole families and villages off the land. Only the semi-willing job seekers go to the city and enter the Satanic mills. On the whole, the setting Chang paints looks grim. But the characters are pulsing with life and hope.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Amazed

    Amazing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    Good book @ a great price

    The book was a good book at a great price. I needed this book to read for college. This was one of the cheapest copies that was new online. I also got free shipping because I bought all my school books online at barnes and nobels. Shipping was good. The price was great.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

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    Terrific book

    This book will really open your world view.Best book I have read in a long time!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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