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by Annie Wang
Like so many of her young compatriots, Lili Lin lives on the margins of society–she has been jailed for “having a corrupt lifestyle and hooliganism,” and at 24 she is unemployable because she doesn’t have connections and unmarriageable because she isn’t a virgin. Estranged from her parents, restless and cynical, she drifts from day to day. Then she meets an American journa ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 11th 2002 by Anchor
(first published May 29th 2001)
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Can't say I hated it but it also isn't a favorite. Parts of this book were fascinating but then some parts were slow. I just think it took the character to long to change and she never really opened up. Got invested in the character without her really going anywhere
I've read several historical novels set in China that were wonderfully written and that had brilliantly portrayed characters, but, unfortunately, this was not one of them. The main character has very low self-esteem due to having been traumatized as a young teen, and, believing that she has been ruined and is unworthy of experiencing true love, she throws herself into a lifestyle that her country calls "hooliganism," i.e., being a part of gang culture, consuming alcohol and partying, and being e ...more
This was an unexpected very good read. I started this without knowing what to expect and what I found was an emotional story of self struggle in an undemocratic society that really didn't have a lot of respect for woman at the time. What I loved the most, Lili was not afraid to be who she wanted to be and or really q...uestion who it was that she wanted to become. The price she paid during her lifes journey was not but painful to read. I'm not afraid to admit, but this one did make me cry. I hig ...more
I loved this book! It made me understand China better and it's quest in what it's trying to achieve. Also, it made me realize how each government portrays how they want to be, but the reality is much more skewed. Therefore, it's imperative that we ensure that whomever we vote for, whether mayor or president, we should hold them accountable and ensure they set out to do what's best for us. This book reminded me that I have a voice, and in the end I was inspired and literally jumping up and down!
Don't know if i liked it. Reads quite poorly in places whereas in others the digging into cultural differences are amazingly insightful. The changes that occur to Lili are not quite believable but the descriptions of poverty at the margins of Chinese society are fascinating. In parts, its a great, eye-opener. In others its just soppy fluff. Fluff is acceptable because of the insights on Chinese life during the cultural revolution and up thru to the tieneman standoff. There was enough interesting ...more
This book felt like climbing a mountain. it started out boring as hell, and in the end I did not want it to finish. The climb was worth the view. on average a three stars, as I can't avoid wondering what it would have been if the beginning wasn't that difficult to pass through. The title is misleading. It isn't a novel of Tiananmen, but rather a novel that led to Tiananmen on the personal and sociopolitical level.
Wow--how life can change on a dime and be forever altered. One more sad story of how the cultural revolution with noble goals destroyed lives. Lili becomes a hooligan but then gets involved with an American journalist. She struggles to sort out her life, what to do with it, her conflicting feelings about China and just about everyone. Yes--read it.
I enjoyed this book not because I felt that is was particularly well written, but because I really liked the juxtaposition between Lili, a Chinese "hoolagin", and Roy, an American journalist. Seeing the way they interacted opened eyes to how Chinese view their culture which is misunderstood by many Americans. I would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning about modern China.
Easy to read. But expected a bit more of historical events. It took a while to get into the details of Tiananmen. This book was about a girl named Lili and what she went through in life living in China during this time period.
Annie Wang grew up in Beijing. A child prodigy in her native China, she was one of the most successful and influential young writers/journalists in the 1980s and had a strong following among Chinese youth before moving to America to study at UC Berkeley in the mid 90s. It was here where Annie honed her writing skills in English and won the Berkeley poetry contest in 1996. Since then, she has publi ...moreMore about Annie Wang...