Review – Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China by Alec Ash
Alec Ash tells the stories of five Chinese millennials from various regions of the mainland, all born 1985 and after. Ash uses PG humor and great eloquence to recount their formidable experiences. Of the five characters my favorite was Fred, the intellectual daughter of a Hainan government official, who studies political science at Peking University and continues her education in the United States. Her road to political sophistication and her concern for the future of China and its government was refreshing to read.
Though I live in China and am already familiar with a lot of the content that Ash touches on, his book works somewhat as a primer to Chinese history and culture, and for this reason more people in the West need to read it. It paints a vivid picture of what life is like for the modern Chinese youth, and this serves to break up generalizations. After reading this book one will definitely come away having learned something, it is light but by no means without substance. I strongly recommend this book.
Ash, Alec. Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China. Arcade, 2016. Kindle.