Miss Chopsticks

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Random House UK, Aug 28, 2007 - Fiction - 240 pages
Xinran takes her readers to the heart of modern Chinese society in this delightful and absorbing tale of three peasant girls getting to grips with life in the big city.

The Li sisters don’t have much education, but one thing has been drummed into them: their mother is a failure because she hasn’t managed to produce a son, and they themselves only merit a number as a name. Women, their father tells them, are like chopsticks: utilitarian and easily broken. Men, on the other hand, are the strong rafters that hold up the roof of a house.

Yet when circumstances lead the sisters to seek work in distant Nanjing, the shocking new urban environment opens their eyes. While Three contributes to the success of a small restaurant, Five and Six learn new talents at a health spa and a bookshop/tearoom. And when the money they earn starts arriving back at the village, their father is forced to recognize that daughters are not so dispensable after all.

As the Li sisters discover Nanjing, so do we: its past, its customs and culture, and its future as a place where people can change their lives.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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User Review  - DeltaQueen50 - LibraryThing

Miss Chopsticks by Xinran is a story about three sisters who come to the city of Nanjing from their rural farm and learn to adapt to a new lifestyle. Sisters Three, Five and Six don’t have much ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LadyoftheLodge - LibraryThing

I did not think I would like this book, but it proved to be enjoyable and a look into the lives of women in China. The epilogue saddened me, as the author could not find the three women upon whom the book was based (after the book ended and she went back). Read full review


Introduction A
Under the Big Willow
A New Year and a New Life

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About the author (2007)

Xinran was born in Beijing in 1958 and was a successful journalist and radio presenter in China. In 1997 she moved to London where she began work on her seminal book about Chinese women: The Good Women of China. She writes a regular column for the Guardian newspaper.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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