China’s tragic tales of personal struggle

wild-grass-book Asia Times published a review on ’s book: “Wild Grass – Three Stories of Change in Modern China”

There is a certain cruel paradox about Ian Johnson’s finely tuned reportage. While the book Wild Grass is subtitled, Three Stories of Change in Modern China , the conclusion is entirely the opposite: China is quite a ways from any kind of significant reform, or as one of the severely wronged protagonist’s concludes, “China isn’t ready for change.”

“Perhaps” – rather than “is not” – is probably a better word, as what Johnson does is report three stories at length to show how China is evolving. Luckily for the general reader (and a handy reminder for the more Asia-focussed), he takes as his starting point not so much the economic reform story but its social consequences and how people are responding. By and large it is not uplifting.

November 5, 2004, 4:58 PM
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Categories: Culture & the Arts