China’s Leftover Women review (2)

I first became interested in the topic of Chinese leftover women in 2010, when the term was already common in China and had been reported on in English-language media. I am grateful for Leta Hong Fincher’s work on the subject and have cited it in articles that I wrote for Salon and Foreign Policy in 2012, after she and I had corresponded over the phone and email.

Since 2010, I have researched and written on the topic and have also raised awareness of it through creative means, including the Chaoji Shengnu cartoon series that was published starting in 2013, and a stage play called “The Leftover Monologues” that debuted in Beijing in 2014. When Leta’s book was released, I decided not to read it because I was working on the manuscript for my own book, and I chose to stay focused on the stories of the women whose lives I feature in it.

The topic of gender and dating dynamics is such a fascinating lens through which to understand modern China, and as is true of so many China stories, it is complex, nuanced, and benefits from multiple perspectives. I recognize Leta’s important contributions to the topic and the awareness she has raised for it. The women I interviewed led me to see things from a different perspective and I have relied on the work of other scholars, as referenced in my book, to relay their stories.My publisher stands with me as I say that ultimately, we are all rooting for the same women.

Roseann Lake <>

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