Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Better than mama huhu (= so-so = horsehorse tigertiger).

Continuing on my non-fic route, I picked up Foreign Babes in Beijing next, given to me by Moonie.

For me, this read was really interesting right off the bat for three reasons: 1. My family currently lives in Beijing, in the "new China"  2. I am (well, used to be) in Public Relations.  3. I love my Chinese dramas.

DeWoskin's examination of a changing China's attitude towards Westerners and Westernization is interesting, especially in retrospect, seeing where China is now.  I think she gets insight into the whole thing that I'd miss as a Chinese person.  I found her writing to be intelligent, taking a sociological or anthropological view at times, while at the same time remaining funny and interesting.  Additionally, her deconstruction of Chinese phrases always really interested me, because as a Chinese speaker, I don't think about the phrases I'm saying, on how the separate characters mean one thing and put together mean something else.  To me, they mean what they mean.

My one criticism is that I got confused at the chronology at times.  There were these "intermission" sections that threw me off, and I couldn't tell how much time had elapsed, which made her story harder for me to follow, linearly.  But that's just a minor qualm.

All in all, smart and entertaining, if not mindblowing.

1 drops:

moonrat said...

haha yeah, i'm a big DeWoskin fan girl.

one of my favorite parts was how she set off each chapter with a scene from the soap opera (i think the first chapter title is something like "take off your pants!). so i didn't mind much that it wasn't chronological. but i do see your point.

here are some really ridiculous clips of the soap opera itself--you catch rachel briefly. pretty worthwhile.

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