A Season in Red: My Great Leap Forward into the New China by Kirsty Needham

By Kirsty Needham

While journalist Kristy Needham heads to Beijing to paintings at a chinese language newspaper as a “foreign expert,” she has studied the language and the heritage yet has no proposal what lifestyles in China will particularly be like. As this compelling tale finds, she quickly learns that Communist slogans, transvestite nightclubs, SARS scares, and militant groups of vacationer handlers are only the various disparate components of daily life in China that she needs to navigate. From being consistently requested if she is a undercover agent to maintaining her integrity at a government-controlled paper, Needham is stuck in a country haunted via its prior and surging towards the longer term. via wry, journalistic observations, this shiny memoir deals an enlightening, hilarious, and infrequently frightening outsider’s tackle modern China and its quickly changing culture.

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After 1949 the homes had been subdivided for the masses to share. Life was lived on top of one another, with old neighbours nattering away together on small stools in the open air, keeping watch as children played. The communal toilet, and telephone, were a brisk walk down the lane outside. One day in 2002 Xiang Xiang’s family discovered the character chai painted on the wall outside their home, marking it for destruction. Chai was tearing apart inner city Beijing, but could not be argued with because many families did not own the courtyard houses they lived in.

They looked up at us quizzically. QX5 26/6/06 12:23 PM Page 29 Yellow Dust 29 had disturbed their peaceful routine. It didn’t look anything like an entertainment precinct, but the taxi was gone. We followed Judy blindly into the night, dodging oncoming truck headlights, in search of our out-of-the-way hot spot. We eventually stumbled around the corner, where a large two-storey building looked promising. As we got nearer I could hear laughter and music. We entered through the back of the factory, and headed down an industrial corridor.

That was an awful lot of fakes, I thought. I had already noticed that the Business Weekly editorials were written under pseudonyms. An Ling offered to help me unlock the mysteries of the ancient computer system I would be working on.

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