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Book Review: Foreign Babes in Beijing

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China is an awakening economic giant. Whichever way you look at it, China is about to play a much more significant part in world affairs now than ever before. So it makes sense to know what China is about.

Being a huge country of 1.3 billion people, that’s no easy task. Foreign Babes in Beijing gives you a five-year slice of life in China’s capital through the eyes of a Westerner who became part of the culture she observed.

Rachel DeWoskin’s memoir of her life in Beijing includes her friendships with Chinese who wanted to be American, Americans who wanted to be Chinese, PR people, film industry people, and just about anyone else you can imagine.

The book gets its title from the soap opera Rachel ended up in, an experience that allowed her to see herself through Chinese eyes (at least, through the scriptwriter’s eyes).

As a way to get to know China, Foreign Babes in Beijing is incredibly subjective – which is great! Sure, a dry book of economic facts or history might help you understand the outline of the new China, but DeWoskin’s slices of her life in Beijing give you a sense of the fragrances, colours and tastes of this ancient and very modern country.

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About Simon Young

  • Sounds like a great read. I especially like the comment on how everyone is striving to be someone else!