All the Single Ladies

The publication of Roseanne Lake’s “Leftover in China” was greeted with controversy over attribution, but how well does the book address its topic?

In the publishing world, “provocative” usually means good, “controversial” is better, and “banned” almost guarantees “bestseller.” On the other hand, “social media sh*tstorm,” can go either way—depending on who’s kicking it up.

The publication of Roseanne Lake’s Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World’s Next Superpower, was greeted with a social media squall over attribution—or the lack of it. Sayre’s Law dictates that academic cockfights are vicious “precisely because the stakes are so small”; replace “academia” with “China experts” and the comparison holds firm.

Lake’s book comes at a contentious time for women in China. There’s sustained and increasing pressure for young females to put aside careers and settle down (in a heterosexual partnership, naturally); single mothers are officially frowned upon; childless parents are criticized; and some lesbians marry gay men in order to fit in.

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All the Single Ladies is a story from our issue, “Modern Family.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


Han Rubo is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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