Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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"What the Chinese Don't Eat", XinRan

June 30th, 2009 · No Comments · Chinese

Synopsis: A collection of newspaper columns on Chinese/Western society written by the a columnist on Chinese life for The Guardian.

My Take: I grabbed this wanting an accessible layman’s guide to the quirks of Chinese society.

Unfortunately this collection is very uneven, ranging from shallow and patronising observations about the west to insightful explanations of the Chinese mindset. Given that Xinran is really not a very talented writer she needs extremely compelling content to keep you interested. This book doesn’t deliver on this account.

Xinran is at her best when she’s writing about the Chinese but is simply painful when she ventures into commentaries on the West (apparently Western men are looking for the same things in a wife as Chinese men – A beautiful, quiet woman to do the house keeping and produce a male heir – hmmm). Meh.

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