Local News

‘Factory Girls’ is the focus of Davis Read project

By From page A4 | October 23, 2012

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Looking for a great fall read? Curious about what’s really happening in China? Get ready for the second annual Davis Read and Book Talk at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Blanchard Room of the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.

This year’s book is Leslie T. Chang’s “Factory Girls: From Village to City in Changing China,” a vivid and intimate tour of life on the electronics assembly lines for young women in China today. The event will start with an introduction by Bay Area China expert Jiang Lin, a demographer and consultant on Chinese urban and energy policy. Readers will be able to join an open-mike discussion of the book, exploring both the global and local effects of China’s powerful industrial transformations. The event will be informal, encouraging conversation and exchange.

As a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Chang spent three years interviewing female factory workers in Dongguan, a city in China’s industrial Guangdong province and home to many globally connected electronics assembly lines. Most of the women were recent migrants to the city, part of the vast migration of some 130 million workers unleashed by China’s manufacturing boom.

A Chinese-American and the daughter of migrants herself, Chang goes beyond the statistics, to examine how these women live, eat, work, play, earn and save. She explores the lives of two young women in particular, visiting their dorms and workplaces, traveling home to their families on holidays, studying their dating habits and marriage prospects, and recounting their dreams and fears about the future. The result is a portrait of a generation of courageous young women determined to better their lives, often at enormous personal and social cost.

Now in its second year, the annual Davis Read and Book Talk is the brainchild of Yolo County librarian Joan Tuss and local historian Krystyna von Henneberg. The two select a meaningful work of nonfiction to encourage community reading, dialogue and bridge-building.

The Yolo County Library purchases multiple copies for readers and book clubs and then follows up with a speaker-led community discussion.

The last book, “The Warmth of Other Suns, The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” was chosen as the centerpiece of the 2012-13 UC Davis Campus Community Book Project.

“This program is just one example of our commitment at the Yolo County Library to inclusion and community engagement,” said Yolo County Librarian Patty Wong.

For more information on the Davis Read and Book Talk, contact Tuss 530-757-5588 or [email protected].

Special to The Enterprise

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