Traces the author's decision to broaden her cultural horizons by working as a Beijing consultant for an American PR firm in China for five years, a period during which she starred in a popular Chinese-western soap opera, experienced a cross-cultural private life, and witnessed numerous changes throughout the country. 30,000 first printing.
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Rachel DeWoskin was a soap-opera star and consultant in Beijing for five years before she returned to the United States. She divides her time between New York City and Beijing, teaches poetry, and writes Chinese rap.From Publishers Weekly:
DeWoskin moved to Beijing in 1989, shortly after the military squashed the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square, but just as China's younger population began embracing Western ideologies and commodities. This entertaining romp through her five-plus years in Beijing details her life as a PR consultant—and as the star of the wildly popular Chinese nighttime television drama Foreign Babes in Beijing. After getting the gig on a lark, DeWoskin became known, sometimes even in her real life, as the character Jiexi, an American who falls in love with a married Chinese man, in the 20-episode drama, which aired to an estimated 600 million viewers. Her memoir weaves humorous tales of Sino-U.S. culture clashes both on and off the set with astute observations of the two cultures, as well as a significant amount of Chinese history. Though she admits frequently to being homesick for New York, DeWoskin feels for the loss of more traditional Chinese culture: "Consumerism became a religion; companies arrived like missionaries... seducing the average Zhou Schmoe with products he had never known he needed." The book offers a generous helping of Chinese words (along with their English translations and insights into the young people's "Chinglish"), as well as Lost in Translation–esque glimmers of the differences between the Chinese and American acting worlds. Agent, Jill Grinberg. (May)
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