Thursday, 7 February 2008

Lovely Foreign Novel

Finished February 6
Miss Chopsticks by Xinran, translated by Esther Tyldesley
I took a snow day yesterday and was able to finish a couple of books. This novel is a lovely novel by a Chinese journalist who now lives in London and writes for the Guardian. Xinran was inspired to write this story after hearing a man in a rural area of China referring to daughters as chopsticks and sons as roofbeams. With the current trend of young peasant women moving to cities to get jobs there, she decided to show that "chopsticks" are not as detrimental to family life as some fathers think. She was inspired by some city workers that she met and took three different stories and made the women sisters. The sisters are three of six daughters whose father didn't bother with names, but simply named them One through Six. The three that get city jobs are Three, Five and Six and their different stories not only inspire, but also work together to show the new reality of life in China.

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