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Wang Annie

The People's Republic of Desire

The People's Republic of Desire Оценка: 2.8 (270)
Annotation:
Those who know little to nothing about Chinese culture will receive an eye-opening experience of how China was and how China is now through Annie Wang s novel The People s Republic of Desire.

Wang takes readers on a journey with four cosmopolitan women learning to live life in the new China. Niuniu, the book s narrator, is a Chinese American woman, who spent seven years living in the States obtaining her degree in journalism. In the book, Niuniu is now considered a returnee  when she goes back to China to get over a broken heart. What she meets upon return to her homeland is not the traditional Confucian values she left, but a new modern China where Western culture seems to have taken over to an extreme.

Niuniu, the narrator of the book, is called a Jia Yangguiz  which means a fake foreign devil  because of her Westernized values. Her friend Beibei is the owner of her own entertainment company and is married to a man who cheats, so Beibei deals with his infidelity by finding her own young lovers. Lulu is a fashion magazine editor who has been having a long-term affair with a married man, and thinks nothing of having several abortions to show her devotion to him. CC, also a returnee, struggles with her identity between Chinese and English.

In The People s Republic of Desire the days of the 1989 idealism and the Tiananamen Sqaure protests seem forgotten to this new world when making a fast yuan, looking younger, more beautiful, and acting important seems to be of the most concern to this generation.

Wang uses these four woman to make humorous and sometimes sarcastic observations of the new China and accurately describes how Western culture has not only infiltrated China, but is taken to the extreme by those who have experienced a world outside the Confucian values. What was once a China consumed with political passions, nepotism, unspoken occurrences, and taboos is now a world filled with all those things once discouraged sex, divorce, pornography, and desire for material goods. It s taken the phrase keeping up with the Joneses  to an all-time high.

Wang offers a glimpse of modern day Beijing and what it would take for any woman returnee or otherwise to move forward and conquer dilemmas in the fast-moving Chinese culture. The characters joke that nowadays, the world is for bad girls  and all the values of their youth have been lost to this new modern generation of faking their identity, origin, and accent. It seems that such a cultural shock would be displeasing to those who knew the old China, but instead these young women seem to be enjoying the newfound liberties.

If you re looking for a quick read with a plot, you won t find it in The People s Republic of Desire. Each of the 101 chapters read like individual short stories, separate stories about friends, family, and other individuals who Niuniu is acquainted with or meets and through which Wang weaves a humorous and often sarcastic trip into Beijing, China.

The book is filled with topics of family, friends, Internet dating, infidelity, rich, poor, and many of the same ideals most cultures worry themselves about. Many of the chapters end with popular phrases that give the reader an insight into Chinese culture and language. Wang does seem to use Niuniu s journalistic background to intertwine the other characters and come to a somewhat significant conclusion.

As the press release states, Wang paints an arresting portrait of a generation suffocating in desire. For love. For success. For security. For self actualization. And for the most elusive aspiration of all: happiness. 

With The People s Republic of Desire, Wang does just that. She speaks not only of the new culture but also of the old ways and how China used to be. She may have educated readers about the new China with her knowledge of the Western and Chinese culture, but also Wang hits the nail on the head when it comes to showing most people s needs. After all, aren t
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hide Table of Contents

  1. Annie Wang The People ’s Republic of Desire
  2. Preface
  3. 1 A Fake Foreign Devil
  4. POPULAR PHRASES
  5. 2 Fashion and Abortion
  6. POPULAR PHRASES
  7. 3 The Chinese Feminist and the Little Duck
  8. POPULAR PHRASES
  9. 4 Tonics and Perfume
  10. POPULAR PHRASES
  11. 5 Royal Desire
  12. POPULAR PHRASES
  13. 6 The Postmodernist and the Womanizer
  14. POPULAR PHRASES
  15. 7 Harvard Inc.
  16. 8 The Tragic Love of Jeremy Irons
  17. POPULAR PHRASES
  18. 9 Taking Revenge on Chinese Women
  19. POPULAR PHRASES
  20. 10 Sean and Hugh
  21. 11 A Sweet Note of Passion
  22. 12 Have You Divorced Yet?
  23. POPULAR PHRASES
  24. 13 A Kid in a Candy Store
  25. POPULAR PHRASES
  26. 14 Chinese Beauty in Western Eyes
  27. 15 Colorful Clouds: "I Married My Husbands Grandson!"
  28. 16 Its Not a Fairy Tale
  29. 17 Attention Whores
  30. POPULAR PHRASES
  31. 18 Me, Me, Me!
  32. 19 Acting Your Age
  33. 20 Lets Rock
  34. POPULAR PHRASES
  35. 21 Matters of Size
  36. POPULAR PHRASES
  37. 22 The True Color of Ximu
  38. 23 The Fortune-Teller
  39. POPULAR PHRASES
  40. 24 The Last Aristocrat
  41. 25 American Passport
  42. POPULAR PHRASES
  43. 26 A Cool Mother
  44. 27 The New Leftist
  45. POPULAR PHRASES
  46. 28 One Dollar
  47. 29 Three Types of Men
  48. 30 The Brief Moment
  49. POPULAR PHRASES
  50. 31 Internet Date No. 1
  51. POPULAR PHRASES
  52. 32 Internet Date No. 2
  53. 33 Internet Date No. 3
  54. POPULAR PHRASES
  55. 34 Lining Up in China
  56. 35 City Girls and Country Girls
  57. 36 The Gold Diggers
  58. POPULAR PHRASES
  59. 37 Cat Fights
  60. POPULAR PHRASES
  61. 38 The English Patient
  62. POPULAR PHRASES
  63. 39 Beijing Pygmalion
  64. POPULAR PHRASES
  65. 40 Eating Ants
  66. POPULAR PHRASES
  67. 41 Nicks Choice
  68. 42 The Gossip Party
  69. 43 Matchmaking
  70. 44 Women in China
  71. 45 A Prude or a Bitch?
  72. POPULAR PHRASES
  73. 46 City Versus Country
  74. 47 Fake Nose, Fake Breasts
  75. 48 The Little Empress
  76. 49 Scamming Sam?
  77. POPULAR PHRASE
  78. 50 Mental Viagra
  79. 51 Dating a Republican
  80. 52 The Striptease Club
  81. 53 Shenzhen, Shenzhen
  82. 54 The Death of a Singer
  83. 55 Christmas Thoughts
  84. POPULAR PHRASES
  85. 56 In Search of Mr. Right
  86. 57 Easy Money?
  87. 58 Reimbursements
  88. POPULAR PHRASE
  89. 59 Nick, the Star
  90. 60 Going Gaga for Designer Labels
  91. 61 Culture, with a Bitter Aftertaste
  92. 62 Class Differences in Communist China
  93. POPULAR PHRASES
  94. 63 Returning Home
  95. POPULAR PHRASES
  96. 64 Country Mother and City Daughter
  97. 65 Sun-Tzu on the Art of Love
  98. 66 The Delicate Art of Bribery
  99. 67 A New Dating Strategy
  100. 68 Fake Car, Fake Man
  101. 69 Cross-Cultural Romance
  102. 70 Walk This Way!
  103. 71 The Veterinarian and the Poet
  104. 72 A Woman Warrior or a Demure Bride?
  105. POPULAR PHRASES
  106. 73 The Soap Opera Business
  107. 74 Got Kids?
  108. POPULAR PHRASES
  109. 75 In the Time of SARS
  110. 76 SARS Wars
  111. 77 The (Brief) Return of Ximu
  112. 78 Marketing Trauma
  113. 79 The Ups and Downs of Female Friendship
  114. 80 The New Chinese Woman
  115. 81 A Good Life Needs to Be Told
  116. 82 Turnoffs
  117. 83 Sampling the Menu
  118. 84 Higher Age, Lower Value
  119. POPULAR PHRASES
  120. 85 Mimi and Lee
  121. 86 The Spicy Girl
  122. POPULAR PHRASES
  123. 87 Doing Business with China
  124. 88 The Mercedes Matrimony
  125. 89 Name-Dropping
  126. 90 Advice for Returnees
  127. 91 Dilemmas? Buddha Has the Answers
  128. POPULAR PHRASES
  129. 92 Gods and Goblins
  130. 93 Putting the Fat in Fat Choy
  131. 94 Chinese Barbies
  132. 95 Women in Different Societies
  133. 96 The Communist Englishman and the Capitalist Chinese
  134. 97 The Little Womens Club
  135. 98 Too Far Ahead of Her Time
  136. 99 Changed Yet Unchanged
  137. 100 Discovery
  138. 101 In Search of My Own Story
  139. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  140. About the Author


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