How has the beginning of your Nonfiction November been? I’m doing well, but it may have not been the best idea to read three different medical books, all dealing with death in some way, at the same time (eep). Thankfully some well-placed fiction has kept things moving nicely.
Speaking of fiction, this week Nonfiction November is pairing fiction and nonfiction together. It took me a while to come up with a combo but finding it was a eureka moment! Without any further ado:
Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
Lotus by Lijia Zhang
Factory Girls is a wide-ranging, deep, and humanizing look at the women who work in the factories of China’s Southern coast. Chang follows them as they arrive, jump factories for higher pay, and acclimate to a new way of living. The author weaves insights from her own family’s history in a way that enlightens, and the prose is beautiful and engaging. Solid reporting beautifully told, it’s a book that has stuck with me since I picked it up a year and a half ago.
The novel Lotus makes for a great pairing, seeing as how it’s written by a former factory girl and takes place in the same area of China as Chang’s book. Instead of working in a factory, though, Lotus is a prostitute that is navigating a life with many lousy options. How can she find herself, then be true that person? Who is her ally, and who is better left behind? The deep characterization pulls us through as we watch the Lotus, her coworkers, and photojournalist Bing make their choices. Grounded yet out of the ordinary.
That’s it for me – what nonfiction have you guys been reading this week?