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The People's Republic of Desire

by Annie Wang

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602334,036 (3.27)1
An uncensored, eye-opening, and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of modern China as seen through the lives and loves of four professional women in contemporary Beijing. Divorce, oral sex, plastic surgery. Indulging in a Starbucks coffee, admitting to the emotional repercussions of a one-night stand, giggling over watching pornography. These once taboo subjects have become the substance of daily conversations and practices among urban women in contemporary Beijing. It seems that no one remembers what happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989. A cross between Sex and the City and The Joy Luck Club, The People's Republic of Desire follows four sassy gals as they preen and pounce among Beijing's Westernized professional class, exultantly obsessed with brand names, celebrity, and sex.… (more)

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Annie Wang has tried to encapsulate some of the attitudes, dilemmas and expectations of modern young women living in China today. Narrated by NiuNiu, Chinese born but educated in the US who has returned to live and work in Beijing, we learn about current views on love,marriage, having kids, sex, abortion, family duty, careers and the consumer society. The author has used the literary device of a group of friends who discuss anything and everything when they are together. It is very episodic, in that the author re-explains who the characters are repeatedly - a bit like when you watch a TV series and each time the programme begins with a little resume saying 'previously on xyz....' You could sum it up as a Chinese version of 'Sex & The City' with Niu Niu in SJP's role. I am now living in Beijing and although I am a LOT older than any of the young women depicted I found it entertaining and quite informative. If you are interested in modern China it is definately worth reading. ( )
  herschelian | Feb 15, 2011 |
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An uncensored, eye-opening, and laugh-out-loud funny portrait of modern China as seen through the lives and loves of four professional women in contemporary Beijing. Divorce, oral sex, plastic surgery. Indulging in a Starbucks coffee, admitting to the emotional repercussions of a one-night stand, giggling over watching pornography. These once taboo subjects have become the substance of daily conversations and practices among urban women in contemporary Beijing. It seems that no one remembers what happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989. A cross between Sex and the City and The Joy Luck Club, The People's Republic of Desire follows four sassy gals as they preen and pounce among Beijing's Westernized professional class, exultantly obsessed with brand names, celebrity, and sex.

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