Street of Eternal Happiness by Rob Schmitz
Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road

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What’s unclear is whether the party will be able to realise such dreams. This question is at the heart of Rob Schmitz’s enjoyable and illuminating book, Street of Eternal Happiness, which explores the aspirations of some of the residents of a single street in Shanghai.
-Guardian

Synopsis

An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today.
 
Modern Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas, and opportunity. Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighborhood, forging deep relationships with ordinary people who see in the city’s sleek skyline a brighter future, and a chance to rewrite their destinies. There’s Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself with religion and get-rich-quick schemes while keeping her skeptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, musician and café owner CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he’s searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes more involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: A mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family’s – and country’s – dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed.
 
A tale of 21st century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous, and at times heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity and texture to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz’s insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world’s most captivating cities.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Rob Schmitz

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ROB SCHMITZ is the China correspondent for American Public Media’s Marketplace, the largest business news program in the U.S. with nearly 10 million listeners a week. He has reported on a range of topics illustrating China’s role in the global economy, including trade, politics, the environment, education, and labor. In 2012, Schmitz exposed fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple’s Chinese supply chain on This American Life, and his report headlined that show’s much-discussed “Retraction” episode. The work was a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. He has won two national Edward R. Murrow Awards and an award from the Education Writers Association. His Marketplace stories can be heard at www.marketplace.org/people/rob-schmitz. This is his first book.
 
Published May 17, 2016 by Crown. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Street of Eternal Happiness
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 17 2016

...Schmitz explores some of the current Chinese fads and phenomena...Probing human-interest stories that mine the heart of today’s China.

Read Full Review of Street of Eternal Happiness: ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Adam Rose on May 13 2016

But aside from some potted history and interviews with two prominent survivors of labor camps, Schmitz eschews the kind of contextual material that would have given the book more heft.

Read Full Review of Street of Eternal Happiness: ... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Nick Holdstock on Jun 15 2016

What’s unclear is whether the party will be able to realise such dreams. This question is at the heart of Rob Schmitz’s enjoyable and illuminating book, Street of Eternal Happiness, which explores the aspirations of some of the residents of a single street in Shanghai.

Read Full Review of Street of Eternal Happiness: ... | See more reviews from Guardian

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