Leanna Adams believes the Chinese are like Southerners – they love tea and rice and force-feeding guests. Born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Adams knows a thing or two about small-town America. She earned a bachelor's degree from Emory University, but still couldn’t figure out what life path to take. So she up and moved to Wuhu, China, and taught English and American culture at a rural college in the Anhui Province. A freelance writer since 2006, Adams moved to Avondale Estates in June of 2011 and has been pursuing an acting career ever since.
Pretty Woman Spitting: An American's Travels in Chinaby Leanna Adams
Pretty Woman Spitting is a kind of love letter to China. Adams chose the title after hearing a particularly guttural noise (spitting is commonly heard all over China) and turned to find a beautiful
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Leanna Adams moved to China in 2006. What she found were squat pots, plates of pig’s feet, wildly curious Chinese people and life-altering experiences.
Pretty Woman Spitting is a kind of love letter to China. Adams chose the title after hearing a particularly guttural noise (spitting is commonly heard all over China) and turned to find a beautiful woman in a delicate yellow frock hocking up a big one. Pretty Woman Spitting is the book Adams wanted to read before she moved there, filled with loads useful information like where to go to the bathroom and how you shouldn’t hug Chinese men after they fix your toilet.
While living in the countryside teaching English and American Culture, even the most basic issues of hygiene presented complicated dilemmas for Adams. The reaction of the rural Chinese – who had seldom if ever seen a Westerner – to a curly-haired American woman ranged from pointed curiosity to outright inappropriate touching.
The book is part memoir, part travelogue and a compelling and often hilarious account of an evolving Chinese society and a woman at a crossroads. Adams was nearly robbed, held her co-worker’s hand as she died in a filthy, smoke-filled hospital, bonded with many of her three hundred students and left part of her heart in Wuhu, China.
Adams’s contrasting experiences highlight the differences that make the two cultures unique and the similarities that make all people human.
- Leanna Adams
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