A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward into the New China by Kirsty Needham

By Kirsty Needham

While journalist Kristy Needham heads to Beijing to paintings at a chinese language newspaper as a “foreign expert,” she has studied the language and the historical past yet has no thought what lifestyles in China will fairly be like. As this compelling tale unearths, she quickly learns that Communist slogans, transvestite nightclubs, SARS scares, and militant groups of vacationer handlers are only the various disparate parts of daily life in China that she needs to navigate. From being consistently requested if she is a secret agent to maintaining her integrity at a government-controlled paper, Needham is stuck in a country haunted via its prior and surging towards the longer term. via wry, journalistic observations, this vibrant memoir deals an enlightening, hilarious, and occasionally frightening outsider’s tackle modern China and its swiftly changing culture.

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Extra resources for A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward into the New China

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QX5 26/6/06 12:23 PM Page 29 Yellow Dust 29 had disturbed their peaceful routine. It didn’t look anything like an entertainment precinct, but the taxi was gone. We followed Judy blindly into the night, dodging oncoming truck headlights, in search of our out-of-the-way hot spot. We eventually stumbled around the corner, where a large two-storey building looked promising. As we got nearer I could hear laughter and music. We entered through the back of the factory, and headed down an industrial corridor.

But the era of reform was finally catching up, and with it loomed a new need to make money. Laoban suggested that Foreign Experts could ask around and conduct a little market research. ‘You go to foreigner bars. You can ask what people think of the paper. ’ The newsroom outside was beginning to fill with arriving reporters. ‘Now, you should go and communicate with your colleagues,’ he said, ushering me out the door. I took a seat in a vacant cubicle. Heads quickly appeared over the office divider, offering warm introductions to a mixture of adopted English and Chinese names.

Most people had converted their studios into combined living and work spaces. The lofts and galley kitchens looked onto a large central courtyard softened by grey river stones and lush green grapevines. Some studios had been elaborately transformed with indoor ponds for meditation and reflection, fancifully carved doors or traditional stone lions at the thresholds. Young Chinese artists were absorbed in their work and barely looked up as I wandered through. Sexually provocative, sensual images were emerging in bold brushstrokes.

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