Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.
I think I might have been a bit too ambitious this week...
Factory Girls: From Village to City in A Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
I sat in the library and started reading the first few pages to see if this would capture my attention and ended up reading some 50 pages!
An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China.Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
China has 130 million migrant workers—the largest migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women, whom she follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines of Dongguan, an industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta.
As she tracks their lives, Chang paints a never-before-seen picture of migrant life—a world where nearly everyone is under thirty; where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a mobile phone; where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, movie theater, and fire department; to posh karaoke bars that are fronts for prostitution; to makeshift English classes where students shave their heads in monklike devotion and sit day after day in front of machines watching English words flash by; and back to a farming village for the Chinese New Year, revealing the poverty and idleness of rural life that drive young girls to leave home in the first place. Throughout this riveting portrait, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family’s migrations, within China and to the West, providing historical and personal frames of reference for her investigation.
A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America’s shores remade our own country a century ago.
Rubyfruit Jungle is the first milestone novel in the extraordinary career of one of this country's most distinctive writers. Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller, Rubyfruit Jungle is about growing up a lesbian in America--and living happily ever after. Born a bastard, Molly Bolt is adopted by a dirt-poor southern couple who want something better for their daughter. Molly plays doctor with the boys, beats up Leroy the tub and loses her virginity to her girlfriend in Molly decides not to apologize for that. In no time she mesmerizes the head cheerleader of Ft. Lauderdale heiress. But the world is not tolerate. Booted out of college for moral turpitude, an unrepentant, penniless Molly takes New York by storm, sending not a few female hearts aflutter with her startling beauty, crackling wit and fierce determination to become the when first published, rubyfruit Jungle has only grown in reputation as it has reached new generations of readers who respond to its feisty and inspiring heroine.Lowboy by John Wray
Early one morning in New York City, Will Heller, a sixteen-year old paranoid schizophrenic, gets on an uptown B train alone. Like most people he knows, Will believes the world is being destroyed by climate change; unlike most people, hes convinced he can do something about it. Unknown to his doctors, unknown to the police unknown even to Violet Heller, his devoted mother Will alone holds the key to the planets salvation. To cool down the world, he has to cool down his own overheating body: to cool down his body, he has to find one willing girl. And he already has someone in mind. Lowboy, John Wrays third novel, tells the story of Wills fantastic and terrifying odyssey through the city's tunnels, back alleys, and streets in search of Emily Wallace, his one great hope, and of Violet Hellers desperate attempts to locate her son before psychosis claims him completely. She is joined by Ali Lateef, a missing-persons specialist, who gradually comes to discover that more is at stake than the recovery of a runaway teen: Violet beautiful, enigmatic, and as profoundly at odds with the world as her son harbors a secret that Lateef will discover at his own peril. Suspenseful and comic, devastating and hopeful by turns, Lowboy is a fearless exploration of youth, sex, and violence in contemporary America, seen through one boys haunting and extraordinary vision.Normal by Amy Bloom (thanks to Eva's review!)
Amy Bloom has won a devoted readership and wide critical acclaim for fiction of rare humor, insight, grace, and eloquence, and the same qualities distinguish Normal, a provocative, intimate journey into the lives of "people who reveal, or announce, that their gender is variegated rather than monochromatic" — female-to-male transsexuals, heterosexual crossdressers, and the intersexed.Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
We meet Lyle Monelle and his mother, Jessie, who recognized early on that her little girl was in fact a boy and used her life savings to help Lyle make the transition. On a Carnival cruise with a group of crossdressers and their spouses, we meet Peggy Rudd and her husband, "Melanie," who devote themselves to the cause of "ordinary heterosexual men with an additional feminine dimension." And we meet Hale Hawbecker, "a regular, middle-of-the-road, white-bread guy" with a wife, kids, and a medical condition, the standard treatment for which would have changed his life and his gender.
Casting light into the dusty corners of our assumptions about sex, gender, and identity, Bloom reveals new facets to the ideas of happiness, personality and character, even as she brilliantly illuminates the very concept of "normal."
In a New York City made phantasmagorical by the events of 9/11, and left alone after his English wife and son return to London, Hans van den Broek stumbles upon the vibrant New York subculture of cricket, where he revisits his lost childhood and, thanks to a friendship with a charismatic and charming Trinidadian named Chuck Ramkissoon, begins to reconnect with his life and his adopted country. As the two men share their vastly different experiences of contemporary immigrant life in America, an unforgettable portrait emerges of an other New York populated by immigrants and strivers of every race and nationality.
Crackling with intelligence and humor, The Position is the masterful story of one extraordinary family at the hilarious height of the sexual revolution — and through the thirty-year hangover that followed.A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot
In 1975, Paul and Roz Mellow write a bestselling Joy of Sex-type book that mortifies their four school-aged children and ultimately changes the shape of the family forever. Thirty years later, as the now dispersed family members argue over whether to reissue the book, we follow the complicated lives of each of the grown children and their conflicts in love, work, marriage, parenting, and, of course, sex — all shadowed by the indelible specter of their highly sexualized parents. Insightful, panoramic, and compulsively readable, The Position is an American original.
Set during and after the First World War, A Very Long Engagement tells the story of a young woman's search for her fiancé, whom she believes might still be alive despite having officially been reported as "killed in the line of duty." Unable to walk since childhood, fearless Mathilde Donnay is undeterred in her quest as she scours the country for information about five wounded French soldiers who were brutally abandoned by their own troops. A Very Long Engagement is a mystery, a love story, and an extraordinary portrait of life in France before and after the War.See more Library Loot here