Chinese college undergraduate Cinderella will scream if Mom keeps comparing her to more successful classmates. Elf, a typical 20-something in China, must answer to an equal at work who has seized control of the office. N.D. is afraid to ask girls out because he lacks "achievements." Joanna let her studies rot while she indulged an Internet addiction. These are just a few of the stories from "Agony Uncle in China", a book based on Beijing's only English-language advice column. Columnist, journalist and author Ralph Jennings draws the stories from about 1,500 advice-seeking letters, through which young Chinese adults tell confused, cynical and chilling stories that reflect the maddening changes their country has undergone since 2000. The column has been profiled in the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Hong Kong Standard, and China's leading blog, Danwei.org, has republished a series of the letters. The author finishes with a tale of his own to highlight lessons he learned (or should have learned) from the column. "Agony Uncle in China" can serve as a quick study of one's young Chinese peers, partners, clients or classmates. It can also be plain fun reading about broad social trends in the world's biggest country.
AKA NSW Articles
AKA NSW Books