Pretty Real China

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Although China's impact on our lives is rapidly growing (whether it is household goods made in China or Chinese companies buying our debt and investing in our economy), many in the West focus on China for a host of familiar reasons - pollution, human rights abuses, computer hacking, lead poisoning and so on - that do little to enhance our understanding of how China operates and what it is like to live there. In P.R.C - Pretty Real China, Denis Lejeune challenges Western notions of the nature of contemporary China by drawing on his experience of living in Chongqing. While tour agencies replay romantic images of paddy fields and mist-shrouded jagged peaks and the media play on the fears this burgeoning superpower may generate, Lejeune paints a realistic portrait of modern China - a country that is surprising, amusing, contradictory, infuriating, sometimes endearing, but always puzzling. Denis challenges readers to solve this Chinese puzzle with him as he describes mixing with a vast array of locals-from government officials to peasants to students and white-collar workers-and navigates life as a western expatriate in this perplexing culture. Any Westerner who is considering working or studying in China would be far better prepared for the experience after reading this uncompromising set of impressions and experiences.