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Publisher's Summary

Forty years ago in China, marriage was universal, compulsory, and a woman's only means to a livelihood. Enter the one-child policy, which despite its horrors, resulted in China's first generations of urban only-daughters - girls who were raised without brothers and pushed to study, achieve, and succeed as if they were sons.

Fast forward to the present, where in an urbanized economic powerhouse, enough of these women have decided to postpone marriage - or not marry at all - to spawn a label: "leftovers". Unprecedentedly well-educated and goal-oriented, they struggle to find partners in a society where gender roles have not evolved as vigorously as the society itself.

Part critique of China's paternalistic ideals, part playful portrait of the romantic travails of China's trailblazing women, Roseann Lake's Leftover in China employs colorful anecdotes, hundreds of interviews, and rigorous historical and demographic research to show how the "leftovers" are the ultimate linchpin to China's future.

©2018 Roseann Lake (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great book for both Women and Men

What made the experience of listening to Leftover in China the most enjoyable?

Listing to the story's about what the young woman and men of China are going though was very insightful...I kept on wanting to hear more!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Leftover in China?

My girl friend is Chinese and I am 2nd generation American Italian (in that order) she has been in the US for 27 years and we are both older. Her sibling, lives in China and has one child, a daughter, who exactly fits the description of the woman described in this book. She speaks passable English, very intelligent, ambitious, beautiful, well connected family, 28 years old and no boy friend. I think of myself as very knowledgeable but I was so wrong thinking that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel for her to find a mate in China until I heard Roseann Lake's words and what she had to say about her situation!

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to pick one....it was like eves dropping on woman talking about relationships and how to deal with men (alway fun to hear)....it's no secret that when it comes to woman men for the most part are just plan stupid!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes it made me laugh more then once!! When I think of the miscalculations of the leaders in China and other places who over reacted to the birth rate, well intentioned men who really hurt a lot of men and women. Physically and mentally, that is quite sad, as a father of a married daughter of this age my heart goes out to these families!

Any additional comments?

This book needs to be translated into Mandarin!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it, but not the narrator

A great, insightful, instructive and incisive book. What a shame that the narrator's voice feels almost like a robot is reading to us... Please consider re-recording it with the lively and sharp voice of the author, Roseann Lake!

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  • Si
  • 04-03-18

Insights into the social dynamics of modern China

If you could sum up Leftover in China in three words, what would they be?

Really good insights into modern power, gender, class and relationship dynamics in China.

What did you like best about this story?

I'm a Chinese girl but I grew up abroad. I'm now working and living in Shanghai. I thought I had a fairly good grasp on the key themes of the book before I started listening but there is so much more that I did not know - particularly about the mistresses. Very eye opening content.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Janet Song?

Umm ... anyone who actually knew how to speak Mandarin. If you are a mandarin speaker, it will be painful for you to listen to her butcher the language. And I'm not being particular with the tones or picky about her accent. It is clear - she is completely unable to speak Mandarin. Surely they could have found someone who could read both languages.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction but I feel it should be pointed out that not all smart beautiful women are doomed to be mistresses or leftover and not all silly clueless ladies can easily land themselves a husband. The book, of course, wants to focus on these themes and needs to generalize but I feel like I need to point out that there are a LOT of people in China who don't want silly wives, marry because they love someone, and go about their lives without participating in a lot of this business.

Any additional comments?

The book is being translated into mandarin and it will be released in China.

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Informative and provacative

There are social changes underway in many parts of the world and women will play a key role in the out come.

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Excellent Choice!

The women and issues the author wrote about from China are very interesting and how current employment and family life have been impacted by the one-child policy are very well explained. I appreciate that Roseann Lake even explained some of the similarities and differences with Japan, South Korea, and other locations for the women in higher education and the workforce. This book really is not just for women to read, since men could learn some things about how central planning can really impact very basic life choices. The book was an excellent choice for a Saturday listen! Do not miss this one.