China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids, and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture

China Pop: How Soap Operas, Tabloids, and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture

by Jianying Zha
     
 
China Pop is a highly original and lively look at the ways that contemporary China is changing. Jianying Zha, hailed by The Nation as "incisive, witty and eloquent all at once," examines a wide range of developments largely unknown to Western readers: the careful planning of television soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tiananmen, the growth of the sex

Overview

China Pop is a highly original and lively look at the ways that contemporary China is changing. Jianying Zha, hailed by The Nation as "incisive, witty and eloquent all at once," examines a wide range of developments largely unknown to Western readers: the careful planning of television soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tiananmen, the growth of the sex tabloid and pornography industries, and the politics of censorship and commercial success of the film directors Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) and Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Zha, who was born and raised in Beijing, examines the ways in which the proliferation of pop culture and mass media is changing traditional Chinese society. (Apr.)
Library Journal
As one who fundamentally believes that culture, not economics, will "save" China, Zha (a Chinese journalist who now lives in Chicago and works for the Center for Transcultural Studies) writes about how popular culture has developed in Beijing, China's cultural capital. She discusses the major individuals involved in the production of the nation's most popular soap opera, Yearning; the development of contemporary Chinese architecture; the production of such award-winning movies as Farewell My Concubine and Raise the Red Lantern; the transformation of the Ministry of Culture's China Culture Gazette; pervasive corruption in the journalistic world; the wholesale promotion of the novel The Abandoned Capital; and, from Hong Kong, the proliferation of the avante-garde via the CIM investment company. Much of what Zha discusses is supported in other recent accounts (e.g., Frank Viviano's Dispatches from the Pacific Century, LJ 4/1/93; Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's China Wakes, LJ 7/94; and Orville Schell's Mandate of Heaven, LJ 8/94). However, since her stated intention is to portray China in a "minute fashion," the result is that the book reads more like an extended gossip column than a serious analytical work. An optional purchase.-Peggy Spitzer Christoff, Oak Park, Ill
Booknews
A tale of China's "new mandarins," describing developments largely unknown to Western readers: the careful planning of television soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tiananmen Square, the growth of pornography, a new generation of entrepreneurs importing the consumer techniques of Hong Kong and the West, and the politics behind both the censorship and the commercial success of Chinese filmmakers. The author, a journalist who divides her time between China and the United States, charts the progress of a nation's transformation. Portions appeared in different form in magazines including The Voice Literary Supplement, The Nation, and The Antioch Review. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565842496
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
05/28/1995
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.57(h) x 1.01(d)

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