Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China ペーパーバック – 2017/1/26
An intimate portrait of six young Chinese ― three women and three men ― on a journey from high school into the workforce . . . Lyrical, with its characters finely drawn, Ash’s book paints a telling portrait of this most restless generation raised in a system that has provided them with unprecedented personal opportunities while denying them political ones . . . a gifted observer ― The Washington Post
Wish Lanterns is a beautiful and thoughtful book about the life of young people in China. Alec Ash has succeeded in giving us an intimate and complex portrait of the one child policy generation. It skillfully documents their features, modes of life and dreams of the future. I enthusiastically recommend you to read it -- Xiaolu Guo, author of I Am China
Without listening to Young Chinese, you won't understand what today's China, the woke up dragon, wants to do next. Alec Ash's book has opened a window in the wall between China and the west for us to see the hopes and fears of these young Chinese who are struggling to build their lives in a world that their parents could never dream of -- Xinran, author of The Good Women of China
Wish Lanterns announces the arrival of a talented young observer of today’s China. Alec Ash documents the lives of Chinese millennials with detail, insight, and sympathy, and his book is an invaluable resource for anybody hoping to understand the country’s future possibilities. -- Peter Hessler, author of River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze
A gem of a book. Its brief chapters flow like a skillfully crafted set of interconnected short stories, yet all are rooted in the real life experiences of six individuals. An impressive debut book by a writer to watch, who makes the most of all he learned while spending his twenties coming of age in the same shapeshifting China as the half dozen Chinese youths whose varied passages to adulthood he chronicles so elegantly and empathetically. -- Jeffrey Wasserstrom, author of China in the 21st Century
In Wish Lanterns Alec Ash hangs out with China's "post-80s" generations to give us a series of fascinating and insightful snapshots of where the country might be heading. The Rat Tribes, Leftover Women, Ant Tribes and Bare Branches are all revealed as complex and conflicted, yet filled with hopes and dreams for their own, and their country's, future. -- Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking
Here is a completely novel take on contemporary China. Alec Ash embarks on a different sort of Chinese journey, following six Millennials from the nation's far-flung corners as they make their way to university, on stage, deep underground, and even abroad. The result is a work of heart-felt reportage, and also great suspense, as we wait to learn each character's fate. I couldn't put it down -- Michael Meyer, author of In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China and The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed
Through series of profiles of young Chinese from various walks of life and different geographic regions, Alec Ash has assembled a fascinating mosaic that gives us a wonderfully vivid sense of what it's like to grow up today in the People's Republic of China. By simply describing the lives of six youths, Wish Lanterns enables a reader to get an immediate feel of how contradictory life in this dynamic but still unresolved country often is -- Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society, New York City
A wonderfully readable and engaging account of that most mysterious of all groups - Chinese millennials. Alec Ash weaves the joy, heartbreak, drama and trauma of this group through disparate stories, making up a highly realistic, and at times poetic, account of the people who are likely to have the greatest future impact of any one group in the world today. -- Kerry Brown, Professor of China Studies, King's College London
Compelling and beautifully written ― Prospect
At a time when the future of China is so important, it is surprising that so little is understood, outside the world of specialised studies, about the hopes and fears of those most likely to shape it: the roughly 200 million people in the People's Republic currently between the ages of 15 and 24. It is this conspicuous lacuna that Alec Ash's Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China seeks to fill. He does so by telling the stories of six young Chinese born between 1985 and 1990 from the time they entered the world practically up to the present day. His deft style, welcome restraint (he writes the lives of his subjects but does not comment on them or, with a couple of exceptions, appear himself) yet discreet sympathy for the travails of those who have plainly become close friends, make the stories more compelling than they might otherwise have been. Some idea of the predicament of China's young makes this book more valuable still ― Standpoint
A masterfully crafted collection of interwoven portraits of six young Chinese. Three men, three women. Millennials born between 1985 and 1990. Their journeys from childhood, balancing parental expectations against personal desires, hopes, dreams, achievements and stumbles . . . through the telling of these six stories, Ash cleverly weaves information about demographics, government policies, political history, as well as social and cultural trends . . . The richness of Ash's book is in the character development, the details of everyday life, dreams, frustrations, and contradictions of these particular individuals. Ash enters their worlds as a peer (he is their same age) and he's a sensitive listener, reporter, and storyteller ― LA Review of Books
The people currently ruling China lived through the upheavels of the Cultural Revolution and Tiananmen. The millennials who will shape China's future face very different pressures and challenges. In a study that is both literary and political, Ash tries to understand China's future through the lives and aspirations of its rising generation -- Gideon Rachman ― Financial Times
You should read this book . . . Alec Ash presents us with a China we've never seen before - a young China, China that's growing not just economically but in its ways, and one that isn't scared to question itself . . . a reporter's approach to everyday stories, with thoughtful insights and historical references chosen with medical precision . . . In true journalistic fashion, the book is as in depth as it is literarily sound . . . The chapters masterfully allow the reader to make up their own mind about each of the subjects . . . it becomes a study of the self (or selves) as much as a study of China ― City Weekend
Alec Ash’s storytelling gift in Wish Lanterns: Young lives in new China is essentially a novelist’s. Vivid character portraits such as rockstar wannabe Lucifer, Mia the media diva or Snail the country mouse trying not to be a total loser in the urban minefield are drawn with a humane understanding of some tricky balancing acts achieved between aspiration and compromise, as these “one-child policy” millennials come of age -- Jonathan Keates ― Times Literary Supplement
Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing.
He studied English literature at Oxford University. After graduating he taught in a Tibetan village in western China for a summer, before moving to Beijing in 2008.
His articles have been published in The Economist, Prospect, Dissent and Foreign Policy among others. He is a correspondent for the Los Angeles Review of Books, a contributing author to the book of reportage Chinese Characters, the author of Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China and founder of the Anthill, a writers' colony of stories from China.
- 出版社 : Picador (2017/1/26)
- 発売日 : 2017/1/26
- 言語 : 英語
- ペーパーバック : 336ページ
- ISBN-10 : 144723796X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1447237969
- 対象読者年齢 : 18歳歳以上
- 寸法 : 13.2 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 1,218,749位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
Alec’s Wish Lanterns explodes these stereotypes with aplomb. None of his six characters fit into the standard moulds. Each character is their own self. (Mia, the tatted fashionista; Snail, the internet addict; Dahai, the tunnel digger; Frederanz, the official’s daughter.) But each is relatable.
The book’s greatest selling point, then, is how it details the reality of growing up in China today. At a push, it also promises a glimpse at the future. Reading these stories, Alec implicitly argues, is to learn about where the country is headed. Cities like Beijing are bubbling cauldrons of subcultures and dreams. These tales give us a taste of what is beneath the surface.
Wish Lanterns also includes a dizzying array of Chinese culture. Most of this is the popular kind, rather than that stultified by diplomats. (All hail 5000 years of continuous history!) Chinese TV shows, musicians, slang (mostly filthy), and internet dating habits feature as much as exposition on political flag posts like Tiananmen, May Fourth and Occupy Central.
Alec's writing shtick is to remove himself entirely. The content, thus, skews towards the concrete and away from the abstract. As he explains, the thoughts and feelings detailed are limited to those his subjects express. I personally like a good bit of theorizing, and would have liked to hear more from his characters' on the big topics of the day.
The problems that plague Chinese youth -- like youth everywhere -- are mostly finding work and love. Asking about Tiananmen tends to beget a tepid response. But what about their views on more mundane challenges to China's future that fill WeChat feeds across the country every day?
Only those who spend their days tracking modern Chinese culture — or who are, in fact, Chinese — might echo this whinge. For everyone else, I recommend the book without reservation. And even if, like me, you prefer a heavy dose of analysis in your China writing, I'm sure you'll enjoy Wish Lanterns for its artistry alone.