How would you characterize contemporary China as expressed by the people interviewed in Ye Sang's book China Candid, and how is life in today's China positive or negative?
The author Ye Sang makes it quite clear in his groundbreaking book that there is no one single perspective on contemporary China is applicable or definable. He interviewed thirty-six people from vastly differing backgrounds and with vastly different experiences. These people ranged from a tycoon to a prostitute who served Olympic athletes. These thirty-six are not presented as representative of class or types of Chinese but as unique individuals with compelling stories. Thus no large generalizations can be rightly be drawn as the opinions range as broadly as the individuals do. Nonetheless, the fact that Sang could respond to the demands and requests that he write this book indicates a positive undercurrent to contemporary China.
"Tell a story!"
It was a simple request, as well as a frequently heard plea, during the waning years of the Cultural Revolution. It was also a common prompt for people anxious to exchange information, tales, rumors, and gossip in the declining years of mao's rule and the painful years of recovery that followed.