Books / Articles

China in Transition

Factory Girls: from Village to City in Changing China

Leslie T. Chang, Picador 2009

Portraits of migrant women workers that Ms Chang, the Wall Street Journal correspondent, met in the massive boomtown of Dongguan over several years. Her accounts are personal, honest and particularly helpful in understanding the personal and social changes accompanying China’s massive rural-urban migration. Named in Time magazine’s 10 non-fiction books of 2008.

Out of Mao’s Shadow: the Struggle for the new Soul of China

Philip P. Pan, Picador, 2008

Investigative political reporting from the Washington Post’s leading China correspondent, examining the changing life of Chinese in many walks of life in the last fifteen years. Accesses areas denied to most foreign correspondents.

The Changing Face of China: from Mao to Market

John Gittings, Oxford University Press, 2006

Veteran Guardian reporter, Mr Gittings offers an in-depth look at the transformations in China since Mao’s day, particularly changes in the spheres of politics, academia and poetic expression.

Will the Boat Sink the Water? The Life of China’s Peasants

Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao, Public Affairs Ltd. 2006

First appeared in Chinese in 2003 to a massive sensation, selling millions of pirated copies after it was banned by worried authorities. It helped renew top-level concern for the fate of China’s poorest farmers, and played a key role in the abolition of the agricultural land tax. The authors’ firsthand research focuses on rural Anhui province.

One China, Many Paths

Chaohua Wang, ed., Verso, 2003

A compilation of interviews, articles and essays from several of China’s most prominent intellectuals belonging to both the ‘new left’ and liberal camps. Topics include the growing income disparity, rural educational provision, sexual equality and cultural trends.

What Does China Think?

Mark Leonard, Public Affairs, 2008

Looks at whether China will be able to steer its own way to a modern nation state, and examines different Chinese thinkers’ views of what the ‘China model’ means.

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History of Christianity in China

Unfinished Encounter – China and Christianity

Robert E. Whyte, Collins, 1988

Christianity in China: from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

Daniel H. Bays, Stanford University Press, 1996

Handbook of Christianity in China, volume 1: 635-1800

Nicolas Standaert, ed., Brill Academic Publishers: 2001

Protestantism in Contemporary China

Alan Hunter & Chan Kim-kwong, Cambridge University Press, 1993

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Contemporary Protestant Christianity in China

God and Caesar in China – Policy Implications of Church-State Tensions

J. Kindopp & Lee Hamrin, Brooklings Institute, 2004

Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power

David Aikman, Macmillan, 2004

China’s Christian Millions

Tony Lambert, Monarch, 2006

The Heavenly Man

Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway, 2003

Seeking the Common Ground – Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China’s United Front

Philip L. Wickeri, Orbis, 1990

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Contemporary Catholic Christianity in China

Guide to the Catholic Church in China

Jean Charbonnier (ed.), China Christian communications, 2008

China’s Catholics – Tragedy and Hope in an Emerging Civil Society

Richard Madsen, University of California Press, 1998

The Chinese Catholic Church in Conflict, 1949-2001

William T. Liu, Beatrice Leung, 2004

The Catholic Church in Modern China: Perspectives

Edmond Tang, Jean-Paul Wiest, 1993

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Chinese Christian Theology

God is Love

Bishop K.H. Ting, CCMI, 2004

History of Protestantism in China: the Indigenization of Christianity

Sumiko Yamamoto, 2000

A series of studies on some of the leading theological writings of twentieth century Chinese Christianity.

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China’s Global Reach: Markets, Multinationals and Globalization

Zhibin Gu, Fultus Corporation, rev. edn. 2006

An informed look at some of the lessons learned from multinational business, national and local Chinese business policies and the impact of the China boom. Very useful on the relations between China, Japan and India in the new business world.

China Price: the True Cost of Chinese Competitive Advantage

Alexandra Harney

Reports on the human impact of China’s low-cost, low-wage manufacturing, and deals well with the changes emerging out of China’s move of its manufacturing inland. Also addresses Western countries failure to properly audit their Chinese suppliers and pressure to keep costs low, and how demands of Western consumers for cheap products maintains the exploitation.

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China’s Modern History

A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern World

Rana Mitter, 2004

Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1880’s to 2000

Jack Gray, 2003

Contemporary China

Alan Hunter & John Sexton, 1999

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Life and Death in Shanghai

Nien Cheng, Flamingo, 1995

One woman’s experiences of the Cultural Revolution.

To the Edge of the Sky

Anhua Gao, Penguin, 2001

The life-story of a daughter of two revolutionary martyrs.

Red Dust

Ma Jian, Vintage, 2002

A man’s three-year exploration of China in the years immediately after Mao’s death.

Red Azalea

Anchee Min, Orion, 1996

Vermillion Gate: A Family Story of Communist China

Aiping Mu, Abacus, 2002

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices

Xinran, Vintage, 2003

Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots: The true story of an unwanted Chinese daughter

Adeline Yen Mah, Penguin, 1998

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River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Peter Hessler, John Murray, 2002

Two years spent as a peace corps volunteer in China.

Frontiers of Heaven: Journey Beyond the Great Wall

Stanley Stewart, Flamingo, 1996

Exploration of China on the other side of the Great Wall.

Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China

Paul Theroux, Penguin, 1989

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Chairman Mao Would Not be Amused: Fiction from Today’s China

Howard Goldblatt (Ed.), Grove Press, 1996

Anthology of fiction from emerging Chinese writers.


Yu Hua, 2006

An explicit and provocative look at the moral breakdown of society in the post-Maoist era. Two step-brothers, orphaned during the cultural revolution, work out new ways of making money in the dog-eat-dog capitalism of the 1980s and 1990s. Yu is perhaps the most iconic and controversial writer to emerge in China during the last twenty years.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Dai Sijie, Virago, 2002

Explores the relationship between two city-dwellers sent to the countryside for re-education and a seamstress.

Mr Muo’s Travelling Couch

Dai Sijie, Chatto & Windus, 2005

The adventures of China’s first psychoanalyst as he tries to save his first love from jail.


Spilled Water

Sally Grindley, Bloomsbury, 2005

Teenage. Life of a Chinese girl sold into domestic service.

Wishbones: A Folk Tale From China

Barbara Ker Wilson, illustrated by Meilo So, Frances Lincoln, 1999

Picture book.

The Kite Rider

Geraldine McCaughrean, OUP, 2002

8-12 years. Story of a boy flying through 13th Century China strapped to a large kite.

The Nightingale

Stephen Mitchell, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, Walker, 2003

Picture book.

Ties that Bind, Ties that Break

Lensey Namiska, Walker, 2003

8-12 years. Story of a girl who refuses to have her feet bound and the impact this has upon her life.

Ah Kee and the Glass Bottle

Joan Salanitri, illustrated by Di Wu, Greater Glider, 2003

Picture book.

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society

Adeline Yen Mah, Puffin, 2004

Ting-Xing Ye

Teenage. A Chinese girl adopted by a Canadian family decides to look into her ancestry following the Tian’anmen Square massacre.

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Book cover for Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused
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