China Pop by Jianying Zha
How Soap Operas, Tabloids, and Bestsellers Are Transforming a Culture

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China Pop is a highly original and lively look at the ways that contemporary China is changing by Jianying Zha, a critic hailed in The Nation as "incisive, witty and eloquent all at once--a sort of female, Chinese Jonathan Spence." From her constant contact (and, in many cases, friendships) with a dynamic group of young novelists, filmmakers, and artists in China, Zha examines a wide range of developments largely unknown to Western readers: the careful planning of television soap operas to placate popular unrest after Tianamen, the growth of the sex tabloid and pornographic industries, the new generation of entrepreneurs successfully bringing to the mainland techniques of Hong Kong and the West, and the politics behind the censorship and commercial success of the film director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) and Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern).

Praise for China Pop:

"One of the twenty-five best books of 1995." —Voice Literary Supplement

"[A] photographic, a freeze-frame, of a country in rapid motion... [Zha is] a young writer with many arresting ideas and, from the evidence of China Pop, a bright literary future as well." —New York Times

"Perceptive... What China Pop so brilliantly chronicles is the commercialization of China's cultural world and the anxiety that change is causing in China's intellectuals." —Christian Science Monitor

"By far the best book on Chinese urban culture after the 1989 Beijing massacre. [Zha] brilliantly combines the eye for detail of an insider with the detached perspective of an outsider. Her lively and graceful style make the book as enjoyable as it is edifying." —Perry Link, author of Evening Chats in Beijing

"An absorbing and revealing book. With the familiarity of an insider and the ability of an outsider to step back and reflect, Zha... captures the fundamental paradoxes lying at the root of this mutant 'people's republic' in the throes of reform." —Orville Schell, author of Mandate of Heaven

About Jianying Zha

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Jianying Zha is a writer, media critic, and China representative of the India China Institute, The New School University, New York. She is the author of one book in English, --China Pop, and five books in Chinese: three collections of fiction and two nonfiction books, including --The Eighties, an award-winning cultural retrospective on 1980s China. She has published widely in both Chinese and English, including the --New Yorker, the --New York Times,--Dushu, and--Wanxiang. She received her BA from Peking University, MA from the University of South Carolina, and M.Phil from Columbia University. She lives in Beijing and New York.
Published July 26, 2011 by New Press, The. 224 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for China Pop

Publishers Weekly

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It's a conflict that exists at the heart of Chinese contemporary culture, and one Zha illuminates through interviews with writers and academics dodging or suffering censorship, her own political dissident brother languishing in jail, or Zhang Dazhong, who, motivated by the political imprisonment ...

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of China Pop: How Soap Operas, T...

Publishers Weekly

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In the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Chinese television launched Yearning, a 50-part soap opera celebrating values such as self-sacrifice and endurance.

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