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Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising Chinaby Jianying Zha
Synopses & Reviews
In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the worlds fastest-growing economy.
Zhas vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the countrys leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Maos favorite barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at Chinas top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zhas own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party.
Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zhas insightful insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. Tide Players is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand todays China.
"China — powerful, expanding, and evolving — remains inscrutable to Westerners confounded by its contradictions, as well as the rapidity of its growth and the intensity of its repressive government. A child of the Cultural Revolution, Zha (China Pop) offers a nuanced and textured picture of a country constrained by totalitarianism but buoyed by the pioneering spirit and resilience of its people. The author observes a shift from a post-Tiananmen political idealism to a steely but hopeful pragmatism among many of her compatriots. It's a conflict that exists at the heart of Chinese contemporary culture, and one Zha illuminates through interviews with writers and academics dodging or suffering censorship, her own political dissident brother languishing in jail, or Zhang Dazhong, who, motivated by the political imprisonment of his mother, built a fortune and spent his life attempting to clear her name. Zha's effort is an honest and thoughtful portrait that forces outsiders to check their preconceptions at the door and see China as a convergence of passion and trauma, memory and hope. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Tide Players depicts a new generation of entrepreneurs and intellectuals in a rapidly transforming China through six sharply etched and nuanced profiles which capture both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in contemporary Beijing.
The cast of characters includes: an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the countrys leading real estate mogul; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Maos favorite barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; a tycoon of home electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, a counter-revolutionary criminal” executed in the most brutal manner. Zha also brings us to the intellectuals: the cantankerous professors at Beida, Chinas number one University; a famous, prolific writer who, after stepping down as the Cultural Minister, kept people divided about whether he is an apologist for the Chinese Communist Party or a great author that might one day win a Nobel Prize in literature. Then there is the heart-rending story about Zhas own brother, a dissident who served a nine year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party, yet remains an unrepentant idealist.
About the Author
Jianying Zha is a writer, media critic, and China representative of the India China Institute, The New School University, New York. She is the author of one book in English, China Pop, and five books in Chinese: three collections of fiction and two nonfiction books, including The Eighties, an award-winning cultural retrospective on 1980s China. She has published widely in both Chinese and English, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Dushu, and Wanxiang. She received her BA from Peking University, MA from the University of South Carolina, and M.Phil from Columbia University. She lives in Beijing and New York.
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