The People's Republic of Desire: A Novel

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9780060782771: The People's Republic of Desire: A Novel

An uncensored, eye-opening, and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of modern China as seen through the lives and loves of four professional women in contemporary Beijing.

Divorce, oral sex, plastic surgery. Indulging in a Starbucks coffee, admitting to the emotional repercussions of a one-night stand, giggling over watching pornography.

These once taboo subjects have become the substance of daily conversations and practices among urban women in contemporary Beijing. It seems that no one remembers what happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

A cross between Sex and the City and The Joy Luck Club, The People's Republic of Desire follows four sassy gals as they preen and pounce among Beijing's Westernized professional class, exultantly obsessed with brand names, celebrity, and sex.

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About the Author:

Annie Wang grew up in Beijing. Her first short story was published when she was fourteen years old. She is a contributor to Fortune magazine, and her first novel written in English, Lili, was published to extraordinary reviews. She lives in the United States and China.

From Publishers Weekly:

As Wang reveals in intimate detail, today's affluent Beijing women—educated, ambitious, coddled only children enamored of all things Western—are a generation unto themselves. The hyperobservant narrator of this fascinating novel (after Lili: A Novel of Tiananmen) is 20-something Niuniu, a journalist who was born in the United States but grew up in China and returned to America for college and graduate school. Now she's back in Beijing nursing a broken heart and discovering "what it means to be Chinese" in a money- and status-obsessed city altered by economic and sexual liberalization. Supporting Niuniu—and downing a few drinks with her—are her best buddies: entrepreneurial entertainment agent Beibei, sexy fashion mag editor Lulu and Oxford-educated CC. Sounds like the cast of Sex in the Forbidden City, but the thick cultural descriptions distinguish the novel from commercial women's fiction. A nonnative English speaker, Wang observes gender politics among the nouveau riche in careful, reportorial prose. Though Niuniu's romantic backstory forms a tenuous thread between the chapters, and the novel—based on Wang's newspaper column of the same title—doesn't finally hold together, this is a trenchant, readable account of a society in flux. (Apr.)
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