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Under Red Skies

Under Red Skies

Three Generations of Life, Loss, and Hope in China

Karoline Kan, a young former reporter at the New York Times in Beijing, offers a deeply personal and shocking look at how China is coming to terms with its conflicted, troubled, and impoverished past as it emerges into a modern, cutting-edge superpower.

Through the stories of three generations of women in her family, Karoline reveals how they navigate change and survival, moving from rural villages to vibrant towns and through the urban streets of Beijing.

Candid, enlightening, and at times humorous, Karoline offers gripping tales of her grandmother, who struggled to make a way for her family during the Great Famine; her mother, who defied the one-child policy by giving birth to Karoline; her cousin, a shoe factory worker scraping by on 6 yuan (88 cents) per hour; and herself, as an ambitious millennial striving to find a job and love during a time rife with bewildering social change.

Under Red Skies is an engaging eyewitness account and Karoline’s quest to understand the shifting sands of China. It is the first English-language memoir from a Chinese millennial to be published in America, and a fascinating portrait of a hidden world, written from the perspective of those who live there.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies

On Sale: March 12th 2019

Price: $13.99 / $17.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9780316412032

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Vivid and humane, Karoline Kan's memoir of coming of age in China is richly revealing and contemporary, shaped both by the pain of history and the hope for the future - at turns, bold and vulnerable, like China itself."—Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China and New Yorker staff writer
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"At first glance, Karoline Kan's Under Red Skies is a simple coming of age story. A young girl from a poor family grows up, goes to university, falls in love and gets her heart broken (repeatedly), and finally triumphs as a journalist. But contained within is a sharply observed critique of all that is dysfunctional in Chinese society. You can learn more about modern China through this compulsively readable memoir than from many weightier tomes."—Barbara Demick, National Book Award finalist and author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
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"Karoline Kan's intimate portrait of growing up in contemporary China opens a new window onto a country going through lightning-fast change."—Edward Wong, International Correspondent and Former Beijing Bureau Chief, The New York Times
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"Under Red Skies is a beautiful look at the struggles of China's fast-changing society. In Karoline's inspiring and heartfelt stories of her family, she voices how much Chinese people have overcome. This book should be read by people from all corners of the world if they want to know the real story of China."—Xinran, author of The Good Women of China
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"Karoline Kan's Under Red Skies is an engrossing account of a rapidly changing China seen through the eyes of an imaginative, ambitious young woman... An intimate coming-of-age story, this book should be read by anyone seeking to understand the aspirations and frustrations of young people in China today."—Leta Hong Fincher, author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China
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"A fascinating memoir about three generations of Chinese women. Whereas classics like Wild Swans end with the Cultural Revolution, Under Red Skies picks up where Jung Chang leaves off in this look at contemporary Chinese life and history as it changes before our eyes."
Lijia Zhang, author of Socialism is Great! A Worker's Memoir of The New China
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"With her revealing and introspective account of growing up in post-1989 China, Kan fills a void in contemporary literature on the country. While the profound societal shakeup that unfolded during that period has left everyone of her generation with a remarkable story, few have possessed such skill and courage in telling theirs."—Eric Fish, author of China’s Millennials: The Want Generation
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